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Full text of "Brass hat or executive"

BRASS HAT 

OR 
EXECUTIVE 



3ms M 

OR 

Executive 



by LESTER F. MILES, Ph.D. 

Author of It Pays To Be Lazy! 

Vice-President in charge of Public Relations 

The Personnel Institute, Inc. 



WILFRED FUNK, INC. • NEW YORK 



LS<Z. 3HH- 



COPYRIGHT, 1949, BY WILFRED FUNK, INC. 

All Rights Reserved 



/+?4?3£ 



PRINTED 
BY J. J. 



IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 
LITTLE & IVES COMPANY, NEW YORK 



To 

MY MOTHER 

AND 

GEORGE H. AND FANNY B. MARCH ANT 

"Fit language there is none 
for the hearfs deepest things" 
—Lowell. 



Contents 

CHAPTER PAGE 

Introduction xi 

i. Brass Hat or Executive? i 

Differences between brass hat types and progressive 
executive types— examples of arrogant and officious be- 
havior—opinions from executives. 

2. Keeping Your Eye on Tomorrow 10 
Problems of narrow specialization— new horizons for 
progressive executives— symptoms of brass hat charac- 
teristics—executive opinions. 

3. Be Sensibly Realistic 17 
Transparency of brass hat thinking, attitudes— quiz on 
efficient thinking habits— chart on brass hat vs. progres- 
sive executive behavior patterns— how to separate per- 
sonal biases from the total result of one's thinking; deci- 
sions; details; overcoming boredom— executive opinions. 

4. Paths to Greater Personal Efficiency 33 
Feelings of insecurity in executives— reactionary mech- 
anisms to insecurity feelings— suggestions for overcom- 
ing insecurity feelings— check list of faults and habit 
patterns— check list of personal time-wasters— personal 
prejudices— executive opinions. 

j. More Fact-finding and Better Judgment 5 1 

Fact-finding vs. conclusions— check list for better judg- 
ment and decisions— discussion on better thinking 
processes— what is a fact?— exercises for factual think- 



vill CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

ing and judgments— exercises for fact-finding recogni- 
tion reflex learning— executive opinions. 

6. The Danger of Repeating Errors 67 
Errors in executive thinking and action— plan for elim- 
inating errors— why we do not learn from experience- 
hypnotic fixations; satisfaction with self, with own 
logic, with own difficulties— quiz on mental and be- 
havior rigidity— inhibited thinking— check list of im- 
pulses on inhibited thinking— other errors in reasoning- 
executive opinions. 

7. Open Your Mind to New Ideas 84 
Protective mimicry in actions and attitudes— influence of 
personality on thinking and behavior attitudes— check 

list of hold-over habit patterns interfering with thought 
processes— major stumbling blocks to keeping an open 
mind— executive opinions. 

8. The Importance of Your Personal Relationships 

—Part 1 98 

(Know Your Men Before You Hire Them.) 
Turnover and testing problems— individual variables 
in similar people— value of testing methods— importance 
of interview techniques to uncover test discrepancies- 
procedure for interview method— interpreting informa- 
tion—informing applicant about company, opportuni- 
ties, possible draw-backs— executive opinions— Miles 
Career Evaluation Inventory. 

9. The Importance of Your Personal Relationships 

—Part 2 127 

(Your Approach to Subordinates.) 
Importance of better personal relations— principal fac- 
tors in executive leadership— personal traits essential in 
proper approach to subordinates— other executive-sub- 
ordinate situations calling for special handling— brass 
hat reactions— importance of proper selection and train- 
ing—some methods in use— handling the obstinate indi- 
vidual—executive opinions. 



CONTENTS IX 

CHAPTER PAGE 

10. The Importance of Your Personal Relationships 

—Part 3 152 

(Your Approach to Your Superiors.) 
Political problems— necessity for bowing to power- 
soliciting support— dangers of criticisms— program for 
better relations with superiors— executive opinions. 

11. The Art of Keeping Up-to-Date 164 
The price of success— the problems of narrow special- 
ization and the need for modernizing your knowledge- 
getting rid of time-wasters— list of most common time- 
wasters— new horizons in broadening your knowledge 

and abilities— executive opinions. 

12. Master Salesmanship— A Must!— Part 1 184 
Importance of selling attitudes— need for executive 
salesmanship— selling within and outside your organiza- 
tion—check list for modern executive salesmanship- 
handling the public— you are the company— check list 

for dealing with the public and with individuals— im- 
portance of the proper vocabulary and proper interpre- 
tation of your trade or business vocabulary— executive 
opinions. 

13. Master Salesmanship— A Must!— Part 2 202 
Lack of ability of executives to express themselves in 
writing— importance of concise instructions; proper 
vocabulary levels— check list to spot your own writing 
weaknesses— executive opinions. 

14. Exit Brass Hat— Enter Progressive Executive 213 
Case illustrations of brass hat opinions— failings dis- 
played by some executives— personal characteristics of 

the progressive executive— self-analysis quiz for super- 
visors and executives— quiz, what's your management 
I.Q.? —conclusions— executive opinions. 



Introduction 



Hundreds of psychologists have advanced theories on 
what constitutes acceptable and progressive executive con- 
duct in business and industry. Some— like Link, Reilly, 
Strong, Dichter, Laird, Whitney, Henry, Cleeton, O'Con- 
nor, Mason, and others— have had the benefits of experience 
in actual employment in business and industry to guide and 
temper their findings under practical application. They 
have managed to catch the "feeling tone" of business- 
experienced the vagaries of motion and mind as well as the 
good sense encountered in fellow employees, supervisors, 
executives, and policy-makers. 

Too many others have offered their findings from hu- 
manities laboratories secluded behind ivy-covered walls 
where their findings have been limited to experiences with 
the immaturity of student bodies. 

Similarly, from their ivory towers decorated with red 
tape, without the proper experience to guide their dictums, 
many political officeholders have issued theories on how 
business and industry should be run. We have thus run a 
gauntlet of crack-pot experiments that has left in its wake 
many unfavorable and unjust impressions of business and 
industry, and of the men who run them. But no matter 
how unfair or unjust— the only solution is renewed em- 
phasis by executives on the proper applications and con- 
duct to counter such unfavorable impressions and create 
more favorable reactions. 



Xll INTRODUCTION 

This book is not a thesis on how to operate business or 
industry. On the premise that any or all progress starts 
with the individual before it can influence group motiva- 
tion or have any influence on mass thinking, the author 
offers this book as a thinking guide for the individual ex- 
ecutive. It is hoped that if the shoe pinches he will change 
for better, and if the words substantiate his own conduct 
and attitudes, he will steadfastly hold to his course no 
matter who may try to influence him contrariwise. 

However, with the increasing influence of good, and 
bad, education on the public mind through the mediums of 
our schools, colleges, public press, trade press, radio, tele- 
vision, community forums, and the like, the dividing lines 
between sound theory and existing practices in executive 
conduct and attitudes must be even more sharply narrowed 
and eventually eliminated— if such is possible. There are 
two very sound reasons for this statement which every 
businessman, every management man, will recognize: 

i. The public generally respects, reveres, and accepts 
opinions from its educators, and in many cases from its 
favorite political leaders. It has seldom been influenced 
by propaganda in any other direction. It will, therefore, 
frequently even believe untried or insincere theory. 

2. The public has been for years consistently propa- 
gandized to the effect that businessmen are vicious, stub- 
born, and desirous of exploiting their employees and their 
markets; that they are greedy for unhealthy profits; that 
they are selfish products of paternalism or inheritance, in- 
efficient, and not in the least interested in the public wel- 
fare. Therefore, the public will frequently even distrust 
proven sincerity. 

The brass hat type of inflexible, egotistical, memo-writ- 
ing, bluffing, executive will contribute much to the con- 
tinuance of this kind of public education; and no amount 



INTRODUCTION Xlll 

of counteractive public relations can hope to alter the 
wrong opinions, wherever they exist, to any great degree. 
The diminishing differences between enlisted personnel 
and our commissioned personnel in our armed forces is 
only another step in public education which serves to re- 
emphasize the other parallel— the unacceptability of brass 
hats in business and industry. 

Progressive executives are a real need. They are the men 
in management circles— from middle-level supervisory re- 
sponsibility to policy-making authority— who have to 
carry the corrective educational ball to their employees on 
the inside and to the general public on the outside. 

It would have been impossible to write Brass Hat or 
Executive without the unselfish co-operation of many pro- 
gressive executives in all levels of management and engaged 
in many different phases of business and industry. As an 
experienced businessman, the author believes in "going 
straight to the horse's mouth"— to men who have proved 
their right to the label "Progressive Executive"— and thus 
bring into being a usable contribution to executive self- 
analysis and subsequent improvement; to bring into being a 
working guide for the younger elements in business and 
industry who eventually will become top-level manage- 
ment executives. 

My sincere appreciation therefore goes to the following 
men for their contributions in time, effort, thought, and 
personal interest to the making of Brass Hat or Executive. 

Lee Brandy, Vice-President & Director of Advertising, 
The Crowell-Collier Publishing Company. 

John A. Zellers, Vice-President, Remington Rand, Inc. 

Arthur J. Barlow, Executive Vice-President, Kingsport 
Press, Inc. 



XIV INTRODUCTION 

Eugene S. Thomas, General Manager, Television Station 
WOIC, Washington, D. C. 

Herbert Metz, District Manager (N.Y.), Graybar Electric 
Company, Inc. 

S. George Little, President, General Features Corporation. 

Thomas S. Sites, Assistant Vice-President, The Dime Sav- 
ings Bank of Brooklyn. 

W. F. Arnold, Vice-President, Underwood Corporation. 

Arthur H. Motley, President, Parade Publication, Inc. 

J. Louis Ledeen, Director of Distribution, Indian Motor- 
cycle Company. 

Herbert L. Stephen, Field Editor, Printers' Ink. 

George P. Johansen, Secretary-Treasurer, Advertising 
Distributors of America, Inc. 

Peter Hilton, President, Peter Hilton, Inc. 

Jack Wilson, Mill Representative, Reeves Brothers, Inc. 

Reginald S. Evans, Vice-President, General Screen Adver- 
tising, Inc. 

Armand J. Gariepy, Administrative Assistant, United 
States Aviation Underwriters, Inc. 

Frank W. Love joy, Sales Executive, Socony- Vacuum Oil 
Company, Inc. 

George H. Marchant, Manufacturer's Safe Deposit Com- 
pany. 

H. Henry Krudop, Manager, Fine Paper Department, 
George W. Millar & Company, Inc. 

Frank M. Head, Vice-President, United Cigar-Whelan 
Stores, Inc. 

Thorndike Deland, Owner, Thorndike Deland & Asso- 
ciates. 

Albert A. Hally, Texcel Sales Manager, Industrial Tape 
Corporation. 

Paul E. Seaman, Eastern Sales Manager, Encyclopaedia 
Britannica, Inc. 



INTRODUCTION XV 

William O'Neil, President & General Manager, The Gen- 
eral Tire & Rubber Company. 
Edward D. Horgan, Manager, Sales Promotion, Interchem- 

ical Corporation. 
Edgar A. Steele, Regional Director, A. J. Wood & Com- 
pany. 
Edward M. Douglas, Vice-President, International Business 

Machines Corporation. 
Dean Carpenter, Vice-President & General Manager, Hotel 

Roosevelt (N.Y.) 
H. D. Butler, Regional Director (N.Y.), International 

Correspondence Schools. 
Lawrence M. Hughes, Executive Editor, Advertising Age. 
Jack Lacy, President, Lacy Sales Institute. 
Philip J. Kelly, Advertising Director, National Distillers 

Products Corporation. 
Ralph Donaldson, Employment Counsellor. 
Linwood G. Lessig, Technical Advertising Executive, 

J. Walter Thompson, Inc. 
Douglas E. Lurton, Vice-President & General Manager, 

Wilfred Funk, Inc. 
Dr. Abraham P. Sperling, Director, The Aptitude Testing 

Institute, and Faculty Member, City College of New 

York. 
Raymond C. Johnson, Assistant Vice-President, New York 

Life Insurance Company. 
John W. Darr, President, Institute of Public Relations, Inc. 
Don G. Mitchell, President, Sylvania Electric Products, 

Inc. 
Harry R. White, Executive Secretary, Sales Executive's 

Club of New York. 
Frederick B. Heitkamp, Vice-President, American Type 

Founders, Inc. 



XVI INTRODUCTION 

Fen K. Doscher, Vice-President, Lily-Tulip Cup Corpora- 
tion. 

Sidney Edlund, Partner, Sidney Edlund & Company, and 
originator of famed Man-marketing Clinics. 

Colonel Gilbert T. Hodges, Chairman of the Executive 
Committee, The New York Sun. 

Stanley I. Clark, Vice-President, Sterling Drug, Inc. 

William I. Orchard, Copy Editor, Batten, Barton, Durstine 
& Osborn, Inc. 

Morris I. Pickus, President, The Personnel Institute, Inc. 

Lawrence A. Appley, President, American Management 
Association, Inc. 

Andrew J. Haire, President, The Haire Publications. 

The stimuli and encouragements from such executives 
helped the author to tackle the job of writing this book. 
There is no intention of telling you what to do, though a 
few brass hats may interpret the suggestions and advice as 
presumptive, and so beneath their attentions. It is purely 
a matter of putting on paper the right vs. the wrong kind of 
actions experienced with brass hats vs. progressive execu- 
tives and some corrective measures which may be applied. 
I invite all executives, and all those who hope to become 
executives, to accompany me through its pages and accept 
or reject according to their personal requirements and 
experiences. 

I wish also to acknowledge the co-operation of the 
American Management Association, Inc., Harper Brothers 
Publishers, and Your Life Magazine for their permission to 
use material from their publications. 

L. F. M. 



BRASS HAT 

OR 
EXECUTIVE 



CHAPTER 1 
Brass Hat or Executive? 



Where this story originated I do not know. Whether it 
is true, or not, is of little importance. That the yarn is so 
believable, so weighted with big-shot frailties comparable 
to those I have been observing in top-level management 
circles, is reason enough for me to select it for a starting 
point for this book. 

During World War II, a Navy seaplane was carrying an 
impressive cargo of top brass— both Army and Navy offi- 
cers. During the flight, and close to its termination, one of 
the generals went forward to the Navy pilot and asked if 
he might fly the ship part of the way. 

"Certainly, Sir," the young pilot agreed. "In the air she 
handles just like any other plane." 

The general took over the controls from the co-pilot 
and did a very fine job of piloting the ship. Very shortly 
thereafter they arrived over their destination, a combina- 
tion air-strip for land-based planes and seaplane base. Auto- 
matically, the general circled the air-strip and nosed the big 
ship down for a landing. The Navy pilot coughed dis- 
creetly, leaned over toward the general, and in as low a 
voice as he could use and still be heard, he said, "If I might 
make a suggestion, Sir, I think this boat would be more 
comfortable if we land her on the water." 

The general quickly leveled off and returned control of 
the flying boat to the Navy pilot. After a smooth landing 



2 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

and the seaplane had been taxied to her mooring, the gen- 
eral spoke to the pilot. "Thank you for your tact in pre- 
venting me from making a silly and dangerous blunder," 
he said. 

Then, completely surprising the pilot out of any chance 
to reply, the general opened the hatch and stepped out into 
thirty feet of water/ 

Unfortunately, most supervisory or executive personnel 
seldom have their blunders brought home to them so effec- 
tively as was the case with the general. But that they com- 
mit such silly blunders in action and judgment, in the face 
of frequent signs and warnings, is a plain simple matter of 
fact and record. 

The term "Brass Hat" is purely military in origin and 
indicates authoritative rank. Military law prescribes the 
punishment for violations of discipline and conduct of per- 
sonnel—regardless of rank— but it is always the brass hats 
who administer it. Generally, these functions are a matter 
of routine and regulation, inflexible in their application and 
administration. But in civilian business life, where primary 
consideration must be given to competition and to the fact 
that personnel is not bound under law to serve any em- 
ployer, executive leadership must hold the reins for suc- 
cessful results. Brass hats may be found in large quantities, 
but wherever I have located them, they have been a drag 
on progress, a sore spot in employer-employee relation- 
ships, and have a bad counter-effect to the best public 
relations any firm may devise. 

Among the many executives I have contacted for 
opinions and suggestions on the matters discussed in this 
book, I can think of no better opinion here than the one 
offered by John A. Zellers, Vice-President of Remington 
Rand, Inc. He stated, "In expressing an opinion regarding 
'Brass Hats vs. Executives' it may be somewhat presump- 



I BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE? 3 

jtive thus to sit in judgment on my fellow man, but my 
[Opinion has been for a long time that a man who knows 
his job and is sure of himself is seldom if ever a 'Brass 
Hat.' The 'Brass Hat' is almost always a man who is 
doubtful of his own competency; hence he tries to cover 
his self -admitted inadequacy by bluff, noise, bluster, and a 
defensive false front. Incompetency and cowardice thus 
seek to protect themselves. In fact, it might be called pro- 
tective coloration. He who has the goods and knows it, 
does not worry about his job or about anybody else. He 
just does his work because it comes naturally to him and 
he cannot be vain about it. Therefore he remains human 
with his fellows and does not too seriously take the com- 
pliments that inevitably flow to those who so acquit them- 
selves as to arouse the admiration of others. Thus he be- 
comes a 'real executive.' " 

A great many books have been published on how to 
achieve success. One of the great voids seems to be in 
material for supervisory and executive personnel— not to 
tell them how to be more successful, but to point out how 
they can maintain a successful position in life. That is 
frequently a great deal more difficult than achieving it 
in the first place. 

Let me cite a few examples of men who managed to 
win their way to places of importance in business, but 
who threw away their own security in the heady wine of 
success when they became brass hats instead of achieving 
the status of executive. 

Here is a true incident occurring in a public relations 
firm serving a large account which represented a major 
percentage of their annual gross business. The man heading 
the operation on that account was a vice-president whose 
ability was never questioned. Under his direction were 



4 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

several men charged with contacting the account and 
keeping everyone satisfied. 

One day a complaint came from the client to the effect 
that one of the contact men had refused to write some 
letters for one of their department heads. The man was 
completely justified in refusing because it was entirely 
outside of business requirements. The vice-president viewed 
the matter in a different light. He did not investigate the 
details of the complaint but summarily dismissed the man 
from his employ. Then he called in his other associates, 
and proceeded to strip the dignity from their jobs with 
this statement, "If you don't want to be fired, you will 
clean out the spittoons if the client wants you to!" 

That stupid statement was the beginning of the end of 
the entire staff— they all obtained new connections. It was 
an example of brass hat actions, inflexible in application 
and administration, rather than executive leadership. The 
vice-president is no longer a vice-president. I do not know 
if he has another job. I do know that he disturbed the 
security and well-being of every employee in the company, 
one of the primary responsibilities on the shoulders of an 
executive, and threatened the financial security of the com- 
pany itself. It all started with one statement! 

In an American Management Association's annual per- 
sonnel conference, William E. Henry, assistant Professor 
of Psychology of the University of Chicago, reported on a 
study of three hundred executives in companies with 
widely diversified operations that desirable personality 
traits rather than specific skills make a successful executive. 

For several years I followed the career of a young man 
employed by a large manufacturing organization. Bob 
prepared a great quantity of the sales promotion material 
and handled many of the details of the firm's advertising 
department under the direction of the advertising manager. 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE? 5 

He was quiet and unassuming. Everyone seemed to like 
him, thought his work effective, and considered his 
presence an asset to the department. 

There was quite a stir one day when the advertising 
manager announced his resignation to take a new job. The 
usual happened— there was much jockeying and speculation 
for job of ad manager; the executives of the company 
were confused; there was much good talent available for 
the job. Selecting the new man was deferred until the 
work began to pile up and necessitated some action. The 
firm's advertising agency finally stepped into the picture, 
and on the basis of observations made by their executives, 
they recommended that Bob be advanced to the vacancy. 

I am sure you like Bob from my description so far. 
Indeed, everyone did. Yes, as a routine and detail man he 
was fine. But his appointment to the post of advertising 
manager did something to him. Somehow it warped his 
thinking. For the first two weeks he said little or nothing, 
and everyone put it down to the re-orientation period. 
That was good behavior. Then the bombshell exploded. 

An agency man visited Bob's office with some rough 
layouts for a new campaign. Bob looked them over, 
handed them back to the agency man, and said, "Do these 
over and bring up some new ideas." 

"But we haven't even so much as discussed these ideas!" 
the agency man exclaimed in astonishment. "These were 
prepared as a result of meetings between department heads 
and under Jim's instructions." (Jim being the recently 
resigned ad manager.) 

"That doesn't cut any ice with me," Bob said, a stony 
hard look setting itself on his face. "I just want to show 
you agency boys that just because you recommended me 
for this job I'm not going to OK everything you bring 
up here and make life easy for you!" 



6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

You don't believe that? My friend, I was present when 
that episode took place, and you can take the entire inci- 
dent as gospel truth. Bob didn't hold that new job more 
than a few months. As a brass hat he killed co-operation 
from the one group on which he should have relied to 
help him the most. He in turn could have helped himself 
by being an executive— or at least in trying to act like one. 

Many officials see their title or office of authority as a 
license for inflexible action and behavior, and expect their 
position to give them inviolate security. They completely 
forget that the individual makes his own security and that 
no office is automatically protective except in a police 
state, and that it is questionable even there. 

When a friend of mine was elevated to the office of vice- 
president of his firm, I sent him a note of congratulation. 
In his reply he wrote: "I always thought vice-presidents 
came to work at 10 and left at 4, and now I know it's true. 
Of course, it is only the brass hats who really do it 
regularly. They think they have to do it to give evidence 
of the fact of their importance. To them it is a badge of 
office. The real executive, and I hope I can live up to that 
title, does it when time permits and considers it a well- 
earned privilege not to be abused." 

Brass hats have another failing. Many consider them- 
selves safe from any criticism as a result of their actions or 
judgments. If they make an error, well— it is just something 
they can counteract at a later date. Too frequently, how- 
ever, the counteractions are expensive and result in a 
rather rude awakening for the individual responsible. 

There is the case of an eastern banking institution whose 
officials were beginning to be increasingly aware of union 
activities at the lowest level of salaried personnel. This 
comprised the messenger, runner, and guard services. The 
pressure finally became so acute that a special board meet- 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE? 7 

ing was held to determine some countermeasures which 
might stave off unionization of bank personnel. 

It was agreed, in a hurried session, that the personnel 
manager should draw up a new salary plan for the depart- 
ments immediately affected and present these plans for 
approval the following week. He went to work. The plans 
were presented to the board in another hurried session, 
and approved. They were to take effect at the very next 
payday. 

\ When payday came, the bank officials were thrown for 
a complete loss when union members appeared on the lines 
in front of the teller's cages and reminded the tellers that 
now the runners, messengers, and guards were receiving 
several hundred dollars per year more in salary than tellers 
in more responsible positions! 

An incredibly stupid blunder in action and in strategy, 
yet this is a factual case. It actually happened! Brass hats 
in action instead of executive leadership on the march. 

I have used these cases of what ought not to happen 
even though I know that many cases of right executive 
action could be presented. I did it because no matter how 
big an executive you may be, there is always the danger 
that complacency, smugness, self-satisfaction, security in 
or behind your office of authority, will blind you to your 
own frailties and make you more of a brass hat than a 
progressive executive. 

The skilled artisan is most careful of the tools he uses. 
If he damages or mislays any one of them his whole per- 
formance may suffer. The wise executive is equally con- 
cerned about his intangible abilities to properly handle his 
responsibilities. He doesn't damage them through misuse, 
or "mislay" them through disuse. According to Alfred de 
Musset, "Perfection does not exist; to understand it is the 
triumph of human intelligence; to expect to possess it is 



8 BRASS HAT OR EXECUf IVI 

the most dangerous kind of madness." He might have 
added, ". . . but improvement is a sign of progress which 
requires no press agent." 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What is the difference between a brass hat and a pro- 
gressive executive?" 

Thomas S. Sites, Assistant Vice-President, The Dime 
Savings Bank of Brooklyn, says: "The brass hat professes 
to believe in all the right executive behavior patterns but 
expects it to come to pass by the magic or the omnipotence ; 
or the infiniteness of what he considers to be his glorified! 
position. He is an untouchable. The progressive executive ; 
believes in all the right executive behavior patterns and is 
willing to pitch in and work and sweat to bring it to pass. 
He realizes that it is up to him— his responsibility— and 
that it cannot be shunted off to others." 

H. D. Butler, Director New York Region, International 
Correspondence Schools, states: "The main difference be- 
tween the brass hat and the progressive executive appears 
to be that the brass hat type is dogmatic, bull-headed, 
ruthless, and determined to have his own way at all costs. 
He is a type of person who is inflexible, who has more or 
less a closed mind to any new ideas and does not care to 
brook any interference in his own ideas or plans. On the 
other hand, the progressive executive has a great deal of 
sympathy with people and an understanding of human 
nature. He has an open mind, is not only receptive but 
welcomes ideas and suggestions from his associates and 
subordinates. He will not take care of all details, but will 
surround himself with associates in whom he has confi- 
dence, who are competent and efficient, and to whom he 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE? 9 

can delegate responsibility. He gives them a free hand to 
accomplish results in a progressive and humanitarian 
policy. I have in mind such an executive as James F. 
Lincoln, President of the Lincoln Electric Company. 
Anyone who has read his book, Lincoln's Incentive System, 
can see the wisdom of the opinions I have expressed here 
—reflections of that excellent work." 



CHAPTER 2 

Keeping Your Eye on Tomorrow 



New horizons are handy mental objects. They keep ns 5 
interested in tomorrow, give us something to look forward 
to with anticipation. Executives frequently find themselves 
in a position where they are almost forced to believe that \ 
they have progressed just about as far as possible in their 
chosen fields. Such thinking is not uncommon, and one cam 
hardly be blamed for it after the zest of battle for success j 
seems to cease with the winning of our goals. Whatever the 
degree of your own success, have you ever considered why 
so few people make the grade against the many who remain 
in a lifetime activity of more or less stationary mediocrity? 

Most people are like toy tops. They start life spinnings 
furiously, they slow down in time, begin to wobble around 
a bit, and finally they topple over and die. They have 
never been anywhere, never accomplished very much, , 
their lives had little or no direction, and at best they have 
but put a dent in one spot. 

Executives, in order to reach their position, had to have 
a direction. They followed that goal; they finally made 
it. Some go on to even greater achievements— but what 
happens to the others? 

My observations lead me to the conclusion that they 
discard their objective viewpoint and adopt a subjective 
attitude— begin spinning like those toy tops. They do this 
as a military brass hat would consolidate his position after 

10 



■KEEPING YOUR EYE ON TOMORROW II 

a battle. In business one cannot make his position secure by 
sand-bagging his office or locking the door. Nor can this 
be accomplished by developing a defensive shell against 
the day when a younger man will replace you. 

As suggested by Peter Hilton, President, Peter Hilton, 
Inc., "The executive of today never deprives himself of 
new goals, new objectives. He recognizes that having 
achieved the degree of success he sought, he is in all likeli- 
hood more narrowly specialized and proficient in his 
knowledge than is healthy. His new goals, those new 
objectives, must then be to broaden his knowledge, his 
personal relationships— in fact, to broaden himself. Having 
arrived, he now has, or should have, the time to accom- 
plish these new aims." 

This is not inferring that any man can succeed without 
considering such self-education and improvement. I am 
stating that a man's occupational activities require, if he 
is to achieve his success, that he confine his personal im- 
provement to the requirements of the job or career within 
much narrower confines than he may realize. 

"There are various activities that the average executive 
should take to avoid being too narrowly specialized," con- 
firms Herbert L. Stephen, Field Editor, Printers' Ink. 
"First, he should have a hobby as far removed from his 
vocation as possible. Second, he should read at least two 
diametrically opposite types of newspapers daily— and 
from mast head to the classified ads, always seeking out 
the unusual. He should be conversant with every bit of 
news within his industry, securing some of that information 
from his staff, and some from the sales staffs of his suppliers 
and the business papers dominant in his particular field. He 
should belong to various organizations, some of which that 
are frankly over his normal workaday life needs. In other 
words he must be constantly seeking information in new 



12 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

fields whether allied to his industry, his hobby, or his 
home life. He should enjoy friendly controversy and con- 
stantly seek out new acquaintances and friends for intelli- 
gent discussions." 

Therefore, it is with substitute aims that we must con- 
cern ourselves if we are to keep our eyes on tomorrow, 
and if we are to see that each tomorrow brings a greater 
personal development, away from the status of brass hat 
and toward that of executive leadership. 

Being human, we are at all times likely to find it difficult 
to look beneath the surface. Unless an enemy brings a Pearl 
Harbor to our doorstep we are terribly complacent. We 
shut our eyes to the changing times. We persuade our- 
selves, and even teach our children, to believe that con- 
ditions are constantly improving and how much better 
off we are than those who went before us. Such silly 
optimism or stupid resignation is the easiest line of think- 
ing for many people unless they have very definite 
standards by which to check their progress. Brass hats 
have to have these things brought to their attention by 
forceful circumstances. Executives look for new horizons 
as the best means for circumventing such mental failure 
and as a means to future advancement and continued 
personal progress. 

By what names then shall we call these new horizons 
for progressive executives? Each of the successive chapter 
titles will be such names— if you desire, you may change 
them to any other designation you wish. The titles are of 
less importance than the intent. Some people seek advice 
for the sheer pleasure of acting contrary to it, or so it 
seems. I am writing for those who wish to make their 
tomorrows worth while, as against the brass hats who stand 
in the spotlight and therefore cannot see what is going on 
around them. 



KEEPING YOUR EYE ON TOMORROW 1 3 

Logically enough, the first subject for thought will be: 
a. Be Sensibly Realistic, 
followed by: b. Paths to Greater Personal Efficiency 

c. More Fact-finding and Better Judgment 

d. The Danger of Repeating Errors 

e. Open Your Mind to New Ideas 

f . The Importance of Your Personal Rela- 
tionships 

g. The Art of Keeping Up-to-Date 
h. Master Salesmanship— A Must! 

i. Exit Brass Hat— Enter Executive 
If you are inclined to feel that this list is not as im- 
posing or technically impressive as you thought it might 
be, please keep in mind that while people stand up when 
the National Anthem is played, many fall down when they 
start to sing it. 

On the other hand, if this outline of what is to come in 
the following pages seems too much to bother with, you 
might recall that all of us instinctively want to go to 
Heaven when we die, but a lot of us would like to manage 
it with little or no exertion. 

Each of the items listed are designed to aid in the elimi- 
nation of the brass hat and the development of the execu- 
tive. Brass hats frequently overemphasize on the narrow 
confines of their work. A survey made by Social Research, 
Inc., of Chicago, showed conclusively that overemphasis 
on work was one of the more unexpected traits char- 
acteristic of "failures" and that this seems to result in a 
very unbalanced situation in which the executive becomes 
hypersensitive to any frustration experienced in the course 
of his daily routine. Other symptoms of the brass hat might 
be listed as: too much preoccupation with detail; careless 
neglect of responsibilities; unconscious desires to work at 
something else; unconscious desires to beat someone else 



1 4 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

out of a higher job; intolerance of required attention to 
detail; inability to "move aside" and give other people 
working room; resistance to the dictates of higher 
authority; and an arrogant attitude toward subordinates. 

If you cannot recognize any of these shortcomings in 
yourself, or from your observation of others, here are a 
few more items which stamp the brass hat and the un- 
successful executive; faulty judgment due to pronounced 
prejudices; a suspicion that office politics or associates are 
out to discredit him; extraordinary sensitivities to real or 
imagined faults or personal shortcomings; and being afraid 
or unwilling to delegate detail or responsibility to associates 
or subordinates. 

At one time I had a martinet for a boss. For a while I 
would have sworn that he would not admit to any of these 
traits as listed above. As a matter of fact, to maintain my 
own security I would never have intimated that he had any 
failings either in his presence, or to anyone who might 
repeat my observations to him at a later time. He was a 
tin god on a pedestal— at least until I accompanied him 
on a business trip. 

The first morning, at breakfast table, he looked at me 
and said, "Doc, do you mind if I dunk my roll in my 
coffee?" 

"Of course not," I replied. "I'll do that myself. My wife 
doesn't like to see me do it so I have to do it away from 
home." 

"That so?" he laughed. "Confidentially, my wife won't 
let me do it at home, either. Golly, women can sure be 
tartars!" 

So I found out that the old tartar was dominated by 
one himself. I also discovered that no matter how big or 
how important a man is, he takes his shoes off when he 
goes to bed. How about you? Shall we take our shoes off 



KEEPING YOUR EYE ON TOMORROW 1 5 

and get our feet firmly planted on solid ground? In that 
case we can go ahead and be sensibly realistic. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What is the difference between a brass hat and a 
progressive executive?" 

Herbert L. Stephen, Field Editor, Printers' Ink, states: 
"The brass hat is generally ignorant of the details of his 
job, borrows ideas, claims them as his own, and refuses to 
pass them or credit for them along to other people who 
created them or who made them work. He rarely errs, 
more rarely admits to errors, but takes all the glory that 
belongs to his staff. Contrariwise, the progressive executive 
reaches out constantly for new ideas regardless of whether 
they come from the office boy, truck driver, or president 
of the company. Once he reasons how the idea can be 
fitted into his problem he sells it first to management and 
then to the person detailed to handle the specific project. 
He makes himself available for discussions in the true sense 
of that term, but would prefer having the final report in 
his hands without taking too active a part in its making. 
He passes along the compliments, as well as the criticisms, 
and is not obsessed with the idea that any of his cohorts 
or staff are just one-idea men. He is of the opinion that it 
is only by expressing new ideas that others will develop 
their full potentialities. He does not fear competition will 
steal his pet ideas because he will be way ahead in the use 
of those ideas before competitors can get into action. He 
takes considered chances but without going overboard, 
counting on the law of averages to keep him on top of 
the heap. He would rather have a man under him crowd 
him for his job than to have a loafer or a non-imaginative 
mind in his department." 



1 6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

William O'Neil, President and General Manager, The 
General Tire & Rubber Company, states: "Many brass hats 
in the past have been very successful— at least as we look 
back we think they were brass hats. But perhaps our psy- 
chology and efficient management changes with our ideas 
of social evolution in the new efforts and the new emphasis 
being placed on human relations. I would therefore say 
that a brass hat is one who delegates responsibility but 
retains all of the authority for himself, but is contrasted 
with what I would term the progressive type of executive 
who not only delegates responsibility, but authority as 
well." 



CHAPTER 3 
Be Sensibly Realistic 



It is of no moment here who you are, whether you are 
the president of your firm or a newly appointed supervisor 
in your first junior executive position. My concern is for 
your performance— how ethically and how realistically you 
are conducting that performance. That is the only thing 
which counts. 

It stands to reason then that we must first consider the 
efficiency of your thinking. Brass hats, as I have recorded 
previously, issue orders on an inflexible basis. Many of their 
actions are mirror-like reflections of the authority of their 
office and in no way the result of careful realistic thinking. 
In the theater they would be called "hams." The progres- 
sive executive must be an expert actor. 

When we see a play, if we cannot in the first few 
minutes forget that these characters on the stage are merely 
acting their parts and be mentally conditioned to accept 
what we see and hear as an event taking place before our 
eyes, then the play is not believable, not acceptable, and 
very likely to be a flop. Brass hats are as transparent as that. 
The first class executive is not. He is believable because he 
is a good actor; able to play his part realistically as a result 
of efficient thinking devoid of personal bias. 

You are not a robot, devoid of the finer feelings, and 
no one expects you to be. It is true, however, that too few 
people are able to think things over and make decisions 

17 



1 8 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

without allowing their personal feelings to inject some 
bias into the results of their thinking. As an executive you 
must be able to hide any feelings of frustration resulting 
from mistakes— yours, or those of subordinates. You must 
be able to separate idealism from realism. You must be able 
to indicate co-operative behavior with associates even when 
in disagreement with that united action, to divorce your- 
self from your feelings when considering the output of' 
subordinates— the producers of work— or to inject warm 
human feelings into your relationships when dealing with 
subordinates as people. 

As a primary requisite for being sensibly realistic: 
How efficiently do you think? We can best reduce ai 
measurement of this ability into a brief questionnaire. 
Think these questions over carefully before you grade; 
yourself on them. 



a. Are you ready to revise your opin- 
ions when new ideas or facts are pre- 
sented? 

b. Do you refrain from injecting your 
age, experience, authority, or posi- 
tion, as an argument for the correct- 
ness of your ideas or opinions? 

c. If you should become ill or otherwise 
incapable of continuing your job, 
could someone be found to replace 
you who would do as good if not a 
better job than you are now doing? 

d. Do you frequently give in on minor 
points and unimportant arguments to 
maintain a calm and happy atmos- 
phere? 



No 50-50 Usually 



BE SENSIBLY REALISTIC 1 9 

No 50-50 Usually 

e. Do you make certain you are right 

before arguing your rights? 03 5 

f . There are exceptions to all rules, but 
do you refrain from using exceptions 

to prove rules? 03 5 

g. Are you able to state an idea or to 
ask a question in such a way that 
others seldom have to ask you to re- 
peat it or to explain it further? 03 5 

h. Before you make an important move, 
do you stop to consider all the possi- 
ble results of your actions? 03 5 

L When you find yourself on the losing 
end of an argument can you refrain 
from the use of sarcasm, ridicule, or 
other emotional recriminations, re- 
sort to your final authority or to a 
display of anger? 03 5 

j. When people ask your opinion on a 
subject about which your knowledge 
is sketchy, or about which you know 
nothing, are you quick to admit your 
lack of knowledge? 03 5 

k. Do you experience little or no diffi- 
culty in carrying out your plans and 
programs to completion once you 
have established your routine for ac- 
tion? 03 5 

/. Do you ask questions when you need 
information, no matter how trivial it 
may seem, without permitting feel- 
ings of "stupidity" or "inferiority" to 
hinder you from obtaining vital 
facts? o 2 c 



20 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE | 

To grade yourself, add your score in each column and 
then add the column totals to make one total figure. 
A score of 54 to 60 is excellent; 45 to 53 indicates that the 
majority of your thinking is based on realism, but there 
is a little room for improvement; and 44 or less is the 
danger signal that your feelings get in the way of your 
thinking. Those questions are all self-explanatory so you 
can roll up your sleeves and tackle the job where indicated 
by o and 3 scores. It is a good chance to see how sensibly 
realistic you can be about this matter of clear thinking. 

A brief test such as this is no criterion on which to pat 
yourself on the back if you managed a good score. It is 
merely an indicator to the right kind of thinking. I used it 
here to provoke additional thoughts which might associate 
themselves with the questions. I hope they brought to mind 
other actions and types of behavior which you might 
remedy. So brief a list of questions cannot cover every 
contingency— every situation. It has done its job if you 
were prompted to stop and recall any circumstances or 
situations in which you were guilty of shallow thinking or 
precipitous action based on personal prejudices. 

A case of efficient thinking— good executive thinking- 
comes to mind at this point. Almost every executive is faced 
with the problem of labor or personnel turnover. Many 
thousands of dollars have been spent on psychological test- 
ing, scientific selection, and employment procedures in 
an effort to reduce turnover and its subsequent costs in 
retraining new workers. 

The vice-president of a bank in charge of personnel 
faced this problem and came up with some unique answers. 
His first thoughts were that everything should be done to 
promote employee harmony and satisfaction. Every execu- 
tive worthy of his position does that. However, this official 
recognized, realistically , that a small percentage of his 



BE SENSIBLY REALISTIC 21 

employees would never permit themselves to be propa- 
gandized into a lifetime of routine labors. He realized that 
he had the same ambitions, the same drives, as this small 
segment of his employee group. Once a year he calls all 
his employees into a meeting and reminds them of the 
following facts about their employment: "The outlook for 
you bank clerks lies in one of three directions: i. Promo- 
tion to a supervisory, or executive position. 2. Obtaining a 
better position with some other company. 3. Remaining 
indefinitely with this bank in a clerical position. 

"It behooves all bank employees to improve themselves 
to the limit of their respective abilities in order to be eli- 
gible for supervisory positions when opportunity occurs. 
Having qualified for a better job, if no opportunity for 
promotion occurs, the employee has not wasted his time in 
self-improvement, for he stands a better chance of making 
a new business connection elsewhere. 

"The rate of turnover in our bank employees in the 
lower levels will probably always tend to be high, since 
most of the lower level clerical jobs will never pay very 
high wages, regardless of how long individual employees 
remain on those jobs. Unless the turnover of employees in 
the upper executive levels is also high, the number of 
clerks that can be promoted from the lower levels is 
necessarily limited, and the tendency will, therefore, be 
toward heavy turnover in the first few years of employ- 
ment. Without a certain amount of turnover, promotion 
and advancement in salary will be so slow as to result in 
dissatisfied employees." 

That is realistically putting it on the line, don't you 
agree? That is good executive leadership— facing the facts 
of a situation, clarifying it fairly for subordinates, showing 
them how they may get around it, and freeing the mind 
for other important matters. Are you sensibly realistic? 



22 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

Talking to a meeting of the American Society of Me- 
chanical Engineers, H. J. Cox, Secretary-Manager of the; 
Williamette Valley Lumberman's Association, indicated 
that he could face the facts of existing requirements within jj 
his industry. "Ways and means must be found to utilize 
nearly two-thirds of a tree, part of which is now left in the 
woods and part converted to mill waste," he said. "Until 
our industry replaces shadow boxing with fistic prowess^ 
through the medium of forest industries research, and until! 
our Forest Service ideologists become practical, and untiljl 
our Department of Interior has become purged of its; 
hordes of politicians and temple gods and shows intestinal! 
fortitude sufficient to put into actual practice the provisions : . 
under existing laws, the ultimate result will be continued! 
dissipation of our basic natural resource." 

While writing this book the author noted the stir created! 
over the operating deficit of our air lines. The proposal I 
was to abolish free meals aloft. What free meals? Someone 
was not being sensibly realistic. Did the Civil Aeronautics 
Board build and maintain airways by paying mail subsidies 
with public money while to their knowledge the air lines; 
have been dishing out eleven million dollars worth of free 
meals? Have the air line meals been charged to advertising^ 
or carried as gifts? The answer to the latter is no. Had the 
air lines not included the costs of their meals in establish- 
ing required passenger rates— an alienist should have been 
called in. This may be considered clever propaganda to 
win public acceptance for increased passenger fares, but 
it isn't being honest or realistic. 

During the Civil War, the Confederates had a general 
with a wooden leg. It didn't seem to bother him. Many 
famous generals had severe physical handicaps. It isn't the 
wooden-legged leaders who have brought trouble to their 
people— it has been the wooden-headed ones. 



8E SENSIBLY REALISTIC 



2 3 



But there are many other ways in which we may indi- 
cate whether we tend to be brass hats or competent execu- 
:ives. The following chart makes the comparisons easy. 
But again, a note of remembrance. Keep your mind open 
co associated ideas which these printed memos may recall 
p your present moment. 



Circumstance 

To change opinion or 
decision 



iJ^riticism 

Job requirements 
(Judgment— Thought 

(Changes— New Ideas 
Errors 



When people need 
help 



Handling complaints 



Faced with business 
rival 



Brass Hat 

Stubborn; rides out 
own errors; inflex- 
ible 
Takes as personal slur; 
defiant attitude; re- 
sorts to, or falls back 
on, authority- 
Handles as he pleases; 
does what he wants 
Autocratically thinks 
on his own 

Coasts on past rec- 
ords; safety first; lit- 
tle courage to take 
responsibility 

If possible shifts 
blame; calls in cir- 
cumstances, politics, 
cover-ups 

Inconveniences him- 
self if necessary; 
usually lets others 
take care of own 
troubles; selfish 

Considers all com- 
plaints as "gripes"; 
short-tempered and 
disinterested 

Self-pity; discouraged; 
mud-slinging; crafty 
politics 



Executive 

Pliable; ready to face 
facts; cooperative 

Impersonal in accept- 
ance; acts on it if 
reasonable; gracious 

Thinks more of what 
is expected of him 

Wisely knows when 
to hire a wiser man 
to think for him 

Open minded; faith in 
own abilities and 
willing to bet on 
them when all facts 
are available 

Profits by errors; takes 
responsibility for 
subordinates where 
required 

Inconveniences him- 
self frequently; rates 
personal relation- 
ships first; does fa- 
vors graciously 

Listens attentively; 
attempts to solve 
problem if possible 

Strongly encouraged 
to beat him; tries to 
better rival's record 



24 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



Circumstance Brass Hat 

Association with other Usually on same plane 
people or with people in 

lower strata; sop to 
ego 



Talking to people in- 
ferior in position or 
ability 



Personal problems, 
shopping, etc. 



Does most of the 
talking; expects re- 
spect; expects them 
to remember their 
position 

Pass it on to others 
without regard for 
convenience 



Talking to people in Blusters; bluffs; some- 
superior position or times presents silent 
of superior ability front to give "still 

water runs deep" 
impression; belittles 



Antipathies against 
people, ideas, or 
things 



Directing work 



Uses tirade of incen- 
diary words and 
phrases, or bases ob- 
jections on personal 
experiences 

Orders people about; 
tends to irritate; 
practices title of 
Boss; commands 
rather than suggests 



Executive 

Usually with people 
on same or higher 
levels of achieve- 
ment; desire for 
knowledge and 
guidance 

Helps them feel at 
ease; encourages 
them to talk and ex- 
press themselves; 
good listener 

Handles personally 
unless convenient 
arrangements can be 
made 

Feels at ease and talks 
freely; acknowl- 
edges own short- 
comings readily; 
gregarious regard- 
less of situation 

Bases any objections 
on factual evidence 
and reports of ob- 
servers other than 
self; otherwise keeps 
quiet 

Leads the way; will- 
ing to dig in a n d 
lend a hand when 
circumstances call 
for it; reasonable in 
his demands 



I do not know how many of those items brought home a 
message of error in your own conduct. I only know that 
anyone can correct an error if he wants to do so. Einstein 
failed, to get into college in Switzerland on his first try- 
he failed, of all things, in his mathematics examination! 
There aren't many who would question his performance 
in that direction today. 



BE SENSIBLY REALISTIC 25 

If you haven't been acting as an executive, that is no 
reason to suspect that you will never be one. There is 
always the chance that you will, even if you have been 
more of a brass hat up to now. Of course, that depends in 
large measure on the amount of personal egotism you 
possess. Brass hat egotism is of a kind that deadens any 
sense of awareness of being a brass hat. Executives can 
"take it" when someone points out their possible range of 
weaknesses. 

Everyone gets at least one opportunity in life to taste 
of success— become an executive. The salesman may be- 
come a sales manager. The expediter may become purchas- 
ing agent. The accountant may become treasurer. To be 
sensibly realistic, however, you do not take time out for 
bows. In a very short time you can lose all that you have 
gained to a competitor or rival who has stolen the initiative 
by greater self-development, a more realistic approach to 
his own shortcomings. Once you rest on your laurels— no 
matter what degree of success you have attained— some 
new competition will come along with a performance that 
will topple you from your perch. 

This chapter has been devoted to helping you take a 
good look at your current behavior, your current thinking. 
Is it wishful, wilful, or blind? Are your observations in 
line with facts? Or are you like the vice-president of a 
manufacturing company who told his branch manager to 
survey a certain territory. When the branch manager re- 
turned with the requested information, the vice-president 
said, "I'm amazed at you. This can't be the information. I 
traveled that territory many a time. Are you sure you 
went through the right territory?" Hard as it was to con- 
vince the man, it certainly was the right territory. He just 
didn't stop to think that it was ten years since he had been 
anywhere near it. How like the two young women fined 



2 6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

$50 each for wearing hats which displayed bird of paradise 
feathers. The hats were fifty -nine years old. Old ideas may 
nestle under the hat too— and be a great deal more costly 
to the man who coddles them. 

Brass hats assume things to be so, or to be not so. Execu- 
tives seldom assume anything— never assume anything if 
the other possibility can be avoided. Knowing these things 
about yourself, in fact, knowing the things which I have 
brought to your attention in this chapter, is the first phase 
in our broadening process. It is the first new horizon for 
the progressive executive. 

They say of the educated man that he is a person who 
knows much about many things, but that the best educated 
man is the individual who knows the most about the 
greatest variety of things. So if you spend evenings play- 
ing gin rummy as a usual thing, you can be thankful some- 
one decided to come along and shake you out of your 
complacent specialization. 

Typical reactions from brass hats will be such thoughts 
as, "I'm making enough money as it is." "I take care of 
today's work. Tomorrow will take care of itself." "I've 
done enough reading in my time. I've earned the right to 
relax." 

I'm not advocating that you become money-crazy, or 
that you seek no recreation. The executive will not mis- 
interpret my intentions. He knows that his main business is 
not to fathom what lies dimly in the distance, just so long 
as he is aware of it, but that he is responsible for accom- 
plishing what lies clearly at hand. That goes for his duties 
as well as his own self-development. But man can develop 
nothing, the idea for which does not first exist in his own 
mind. So your thinking is your most valuable asset. Noth- 
ing outside you can possibly affect you as much as what 
develops within your own mind. 



BE SENSIBLY REALISTIC 27 

Nothing is so apparently stupid as a stubborn resistance 
to the acceptance of a new idea when it stares you in the 
face. Whether this story is based on fact or not, it does 
illustrate what can happen to a mind so grooved into 
patterns as to resist even visible evidence of change. 

In an English college during World War II, as in most 
American colleges, women students gradually outnum- 
bered men students. An established professor in this college 
refused to recognize the fact when it faced him in his own 
classes. He had always been against women in college for 
some reason known only to himself, and had always ad- 
dressed his classes, "Gentlemen," even when a few women 
were present. He continued to do this even when there 
were five women for each man in his classes. One day he 
entered a classroom and found one lone male student and 
fifty women seated before him. Polishing his glasses to 
gain time, he finally set them firmly into place again and 
faced the class. "Sir," he said, and began his lecture. 

It is not enough for me to suggest more frequent self- 
appraisal. You must also manage yourself— your mind— with 
greater efficiency. Your feelings, your emotions, are as 
erratic as those of a three-year-old child. It is essential that 
you separate these personal biases from the total result of 
your "thinking." Let's review a few examples. 

1. Decisions. Some people become seriously confused 
when confronted with the necessity for making quick or 
deliberate decisions. They do not feel they know them- 
selves well enough to trust to quick decision. On the other 
hand, in deliberated decisions, the more they think the 
more they become confused by their own emotions horn- 
ing in on the process. The mind is a wonderful machine. 
All our training in life tends to equip us to handle decisions 
quickly. Unconsciously we know the right answer. Where 
we get into trouble is in waiting for our personal feelings, 



28 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

prejudices, fears, and doubts to catch up with our think- 
ing and make a mess out of a wonderful production. I 
would advise the "error-consequence" technique. You 
must ask yourself two things: 

a. If my decision is wrong— can it be corrected as we 
proceed? If the answer is "Yes," then go into action. 

b. If my decision is wrong— will it hurt someone or 
seriously affect my own security? If the answer is 
"Yes" then deliberate, double check, and make sure. 
Then swing into action. 

Make use of such hints as your mind throws into conscious 
recognition. Your own sense of what is right or wrong will 
prove a remarkably sufficient guide. 

2. Details. Some executives become bogged down with 
details because they fear the errors of others as a direct 
reflection on their own official responsibility. Don't try to 
perform every task with the eye of the perfectionist. You 
won't achieve much of anything that way. Give yourself 
a break. You only know so much— you can only do so 
much. Remember that you are only human. Do the best 
possible job but don't suffer over it. As an executive you 
are charged with planning. Delegate all details to subordin- 
ates— and let them handle the work in the best way they 
can. Don't stand over them with a club, fear showing in 
your eyes that someone will pull a boner for which you 
will be called on the mat higher up. The perfectionist is 
all right as a detail clerk. The executive can expect per- 
fection—if he plans it— but he must also allow for human 
failings. Employees are not machines. 

3. Boredom. Brass hats fight boredom by taking the day 
off for golf or some other form of recreation. The execu- 
tive seeks his recreation in the normal course of events but 
he fights boredom by seeking out new ideas, new planning, 



BE SENSIBLY REALISTIC 29 

new campaigns of action to be developed for the future. 
Following the actions as outlined in this book is one form 
of eliminating boredom. Utilize excessive spare time to 
better your ability to look at facts, to weigh and balance 
information, and to use your natural human capacity for 
evaluation, logic, reasoning, and judgment. 

There will undoubtedly be some raised eyebrows over 
item 3, above. Boredom? In an executive job? Yes indeed. 
Some of the most bored people I have ever met are in the 
executive class, or perhaps I should say, the brass hat class. 
A worker seldom has the time to become bored. Someone 
is always on his neck and his work is usually piled up for 
the day. Not so with every official. Many of these have 
time on their hands— time they do not use very produc- 
tively. We might use one of Strickland Gillilan's witty 
sayings at this point— "Even in the school of experience 
some people flunk." 

Not long ago at this writing, a business club in an eastern 
city decided to inaugurate a training program for future 
executives. They wrote to two dozen firms for information. 
One reported they had nothing to offer but didn't want to 
put it in writing. They reported by phone! A dozen others 
reported that they trained their personnel but had never 
recorded their training patterns. The rest had material— 
but it was way out of date. 

There were at least twenty-four executives— or double 
that number— who were actually responsible for training 
programs and yet they had nothing to offer, or it was out- 
dated stuff! Understand— this was definitely a part of their 
responsibilities, a part of the job they were hired to per- 
form. Brass hats or executives? It does not require much 
imagination to select the right category. 

Being sensibly realistic means recognizing that advance- 



30 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

ment in life depends on persistent effort, and on the im- 
provement of open moments. An awful lot of time is used 
up in this world in talking about nothing, in doing nothing, 
and in deciding nothing. 

Fortune Magazine presented a fine article some years 
ago called "The Domestic Economy." One of the state- 
ments will hold true for many years to come. It was this: 
"The many corporate managers who so solemnly choose 
service for their motto are not really trying to fool any- 
body. They are groping, if only subconsciously, for a new 
social principle that will make their economic power legiti- 
mated 

Brass hats argue from fallacious facts and jump into con- 
fusions. Executives are at all times sensibly realistic. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 



"How can the average executive be more sensibly 
realistic?" 

S. George Little, President, General Features Corpora- 
tion, states: "Proper planning and the organization of one's ! 
activity inevitably makes for more efficiency. Thinking 
through the job at hand plus diligent application of effort 
is a must for a good executive. Real leadership is just what 
it says: leading one's associates with workable ideas. Execu- 
tives working from ivory towers don't usually get the best 
results from their associates. A true executive should be 
capable, ready and willing to tackle and accomplish any 
task asked of his associates. It is mostly summed up: think- 
ing, planning, and constructive application of effort." 

"What is the difference between a brass hat and a 
progressive executive?" 



BE SENSIBLY REALISTIC 3 1 

Edgar A. Steele, Regional Director, A. J. Wood & Com- 
pany, states: "The brass hat type is pretty self-satisfied, 
therefore frequently out of touch with things. He is more 
interested in where he has been than in where he is going. 
He is remiss in his knowledge of humanics and generally 
insulated against the new or unusual. He dislikes changes, 
spends most of his time over inventories and operating 
statements, considers people more as figures, doesn't care 
what happens just so it doesn't happen to him, and while 
he may know what the public wants he seldom really 
knows the public. The progressive executive is factual- 
minded, searching laboriously and diligently for facts- 
then acts on them. He has the will to win and to work, he 
surrounds himself with people who like to work for him 
and will work with him, he is a team-player, gives credit 
where due, and measures the pulse of things and people 
outside his own office. He is not afflicted with the brass 
hat's occupational disease of talking to himself— he talks to 
outsiders, the life-blood of business." 

"In your opinion ivhat are the principal stumbling 
blocks in the way of the average executive's path to 
greater executive efficiency?" 

Don G. Mitchell, President, Sylvania Electric Products, 
Inc., states: "I would answer this question in two parts, 
i. A great deal of the average executive's success in his job 
depends on whether the company gives him authority to 
handle his responsibilities. If not, then it is not the execu- 
tive's fault if his performance is limited to the degree of the 
authority which has been extended to him. 2. A great many 
executives do not seem to have the desire to study the jobs 
which lie ahead. I don't know how we can give them that 
desire. But to do a better job, the executive must acquaint 



32 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

himself with the broader spheres of operations outside his 
own job, especially the one directly ahead of him. This is 
definitely a part of the progressive executive's planned 



CHAPTER 4 
Paths to Greater Personal Efficiency 



In mid-July, 1946, Asa S. Knowles was appointed Presi- 
dent of The Associated Colleges of Upper New York 
State. Most men would consider this quite an honor, but I 
wonder how many executives would have been efficient 
enough to handle the job— considering that Mr. Knowles 
was then president of three nameless colleges which existed 
only in the minds of the New York State Legislative 
bodies. The job Mr. Knowles faced included extensive 
building operations, obtaining equipment, finding faculty 
members, staffing and operating a railroad, commissaries, 
stores, police and fire departments, water systems, utilities, 
and everything which had to be considered to make two of 
the three college centers self-containing communities. On 
October 23 rd, 1946, barely more than three months after 
his appointment, Mr. Knowles had Sampson, Champlain, 
and Mohawk Colleges operating and filled with students. 

An incredibly fine performance, but I would hasten to 
add that this man lived up to the name of business execu- 
tive in previously seeing to his readiness for such an assign- 
ment. He was more than an average success before being 
handed that job. He could have been expected to rest on 
his laurels— consider himself sufficiently proficient and effi- 
cient. Had he done so, I do not doubt but that some phases 
of his assignment would have been failures. 

You are an executive. By comparison to subordinates 

33 



34 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

you are enjoying a degree of success. But your success, in 
whatever degree, carries with it responsibilities— to those 
people who depend on you and look to you for their job 
security; to the firm which considers you capable of 
handling an assigned share of management responsibilities; 
and to yourself, to whom you owe a chance for personal 
security and broader development for future opportunities. 

This is our second new horizon— greater personal effi- 
ciency—wherein we shall cover the aspects of greater ob- 
jectivity against the subjectivity of mental reservations, 
fears, personal inadequacies, and other hindering mental 
and emotional quirks. And here I would advise those who 
want to think like brass hats to take heed of the meaning 
in the quip, "There goes a man who had over 1,000 patents 
on mechanical devices— but he has leaky faucets in his 
house." 

All of us have some "leaky faucets" to contend with. Of 
all the mental hindrances which the average executive has 
to lick the most important is a feeling of emotional in- 
security. The higher we go the more vulnerable we become 
to attack from below. We cannot avoid it— but that doesn't 
mean we have to worry about it. 

People do not work like machines— on an even perform- 
ance scale. We are, none of us, altogether forever brilliant 
or stupid in our thinking or our actions. All of us behave 
at times as though we were idiots, or otherwise feeble- 
minded, and most of us show remarkable flashes of brilliant 
insight on occasion. I do not want to type you, in any of 
the following material, or to measure you for typing. 

Many habits helped you to success— continual good 
grooming, care in your speech, pleasing manners. Mental 
habits work for or against one's success, depending on the 
stage of your life. Insecurity can make you work harder 
to achieve success— and with it the hoped-for security; 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 35 

but when we arrive we learn that we face new forms of 
insecurity. Insecurities are otherwise known as evaluative 
fears. For the most part they center around one's anxieties 
over economic safety, social acceptance, and how we rate 
ourselves in comparison to others. We place high values on 
reputation, worldly goods, and our own feelings of self- 
respect. Any sign or warning that we are failing to achieve 
these things, or to maintain them once achieved, places the 
average person under a heavy mental strain. There is no 
real efficiency present when the individual's mind is taken 
up with these matters. More often than not, such thoughts 
will do no more than breed a degree of apprehensiveness 
which leads to worry, loss of self-confidence, and serious 
frustration. 

Throughout this book I shall introduce the ideas, 
thoughts, observations, and opinions of top-flight execu- 
tives in business and industry. In some cases I have been 
given the privilege of quoting these men directly. At this 
point, however, I want to introduce the opinions of a man 
who heads a multi-million dollar business. For reasons of 
his own he asked me not to use his name. 

I asked this man whether he had ever been conscious of 
feelings of insecurity in other executives. He replied, "In- 
deed I have. Symptomatic of that sort of mental aberration, 
and perhaps one of the most annoying executive types, is 
the brass hat who is a big shot and loses no time trying to 
convince you of it. Then there is the man who thinks 
you might have the idea that he doesn't know as much 
about business as you do (and perhaps he is right) but he 
tries to circumvent that situation by beating you to the 
punch, and by keeping you on the defensive all the time. 
You would probably call it over-aggressiveness. They also 
have the habit of shifting quickly to another tack when- 
ever they feel they are losing ground in a discussion, 



36 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

always trying to keep the upper hand, and not willing to 
acknowledge that the other man knows anything at all 
because they would consider that a defeat. Surprisingly 
enough, we find this condition in some of our own top- 
flight men. Then there are the shifty type, who may be 
fully trustworthy, but through their remarks and because 
of their actions from time to time, make it difficult for one 
to believe in them. They do foolish things in their efforts 
to protect their position or self-esteem. And of course, 
there is the out-and-out brass hat who shows his insecurity 
by riding roughshod over those under him and stepping 
on his associates on the way up. He isn't exactly a favorite 
bedfellow around the place either." 

The insecure executive may withdraw into himself, sit 
behind a protective closed door and battery of secretaries, 
in the hope of shutting out critics, climbers, and others 
who threaten his security; he may become dependent on 
subordinates and associates for every move to avoid 
failures; he may aggressively seek power and money to 
force respect and feelings of security for himself; or he 
may develop a compulsive, neurotic desire for affection 
and respect from others, however it manifests itself (over 
generosity with favors or privileges, easy-going, lax disci- 
pline, etc.), as a guarantee against anxieties. 

These items are all relative. I warned you that I did not 
wish to type any individual. It is not common to find one 
of the above traits in any one individual. One of those 
items may be stronger than the others, but more than likely 
you will discover a little of each of those behavior traits in 
the insecure individual. If the shoe pinches a bit, as far as 
you are concerned, it is high time for you to begin looking 
for something more comfortable. But do not compensate 
in negative ways. 

In analyzing many hundreds of executives for career 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 37 

acceleration guidance, I have uncovered many of the 
known reactionary mechanisms to feelings of insecurity 
and to loss of self-esteem over some failure. Here are some 
ways in which executives compensate for insecurity and 
personal fears: 

Job compensation. If I can't be president in this firm, 
I'll go somewhere else. 

Conquering hero type. Keep an eye on me— I'm going to 
beat him out for that job. 

Suffering type. I'm as good as he is— even better— I just 
have more bad luck. 

Identifier. In my business I am considered the Henry 
Kaiser of my field. 

Fixation. You must do it my way— I'm giving the orders 
around here. 

Projector. It's your fault, I gave you full responsibility. 

Invalid type. Give it to George, I have one of my sinus 
attacks today. 

Recognize any of these mental excuses for challenging 
things that have to be done, or for drowning your fears in 
a bath of excessive aggressiveness? I said it before, most 
executives lead much too narrow lives. I know an able 
executive— able in his own business— whose mental and 
emotional life is so circumscribed that if suddenly placed 
in other circumstances he would fail miserably from fear 
of the new, fear to challenge and do, fear of the loss of 
self-esteem. How do I know? He tried it. He is back in his 
old job where he most certainly will remain for the rest 
of his life. The familiar is more secure. 

Occasionally we meet an executive who acts and dresses 
and thinks in the manner of ten, fifteen, or twenty years 
ago. He is just like those people who talk of the good old 
days. He is giving visible evidence of living in the past— in 
the days when he felt secure. Current problems are too 



38 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

great for him to handle. They are too challenging for him 
to risk failure and the possibility of losing the esteem of 
others and damaging his position in life. 

Then there are the forceful executives who turn over 
jobs to subordinates, implying or giving direct orders that 
failure will not be countenanced, or that excuses will not 
be considered. Projecting your own failures to your sub- 
ordinates will, of course, never merit any esteem or respect. 
If this method is used in moderation there is some excuse 
for it, because every organization has in it people who will 
resort to excuses for unfinished assignments at every oppor- 
tunity. I am referring here to the executive who passes the 
buck to others. It may make the executive happy, but it 
never brings objective results. 

In line with this, Albert A. Hally, Texcel Sales Manager, 
Industrial Tape Corporation, says, "A brass hat official 
represents one who issues orders— yours-but-to-do-or-die 
type— whereas the progressive executive is the one who 
strives constantly to develop teamwork and team spirit 
within his organization, on a non-personal and objective 
basis. Such an aim and accomplishment, tied in with a 
capable man sponsoring a good program, means progress. 
The considerate, hard working type of executive, who is 
not afraid to take the responsibility for his own actions, is 
the one who will command the respect and admiration and 
co-operation of his organization. He need never fear for 
his security." 

When a man works his way up to a place of respon- 
sibility and honor, he may have set up habits of personal 
insecurity which are hard to break. The foregoing infor- 
mation is not going to be of any great help to you, if you 
have discovered that you too are a victim of such mental 
quirks, unless I can point out a few things you may do to 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 39 

help you overcome them— the new horizons on which we 
can work in our spare time. 

In your advance through life, your mental attitudes 
have changed along with the physical changes of your 
position. But like too many drinks the night before, there 
is very likely to be a hangover. That is also true of habits, 
whether they be mental or physical. I have found execu- 
tives who were miserly and exceedingly jealous without 
any reason for it. The only explanation, on close examina- 
tion, was the discovery that the individual developed these 
mental habits through insecurities in former positions, and 
retained these insecure reactions in a way that can only be 
described as hangovers. They disappeared quickly enough 
when these men were made conscious of their unfavorable 
attitudes. 

Another situation we run into is that of men who adopt 
a state of mental resistance— or a tendency to defend their 
own system of defenses. That may sound like double talk, 
but I assure you it is easily explained. We frequently have 
a tendency to hang on to a "life style." Our positions 
change, and we should change with them, but many times 
we do not. Like the man who believes most people have 
bad morals, it is very difficult to get him to change his 
opinion or belief. The sure familiarity with our knowledge 
gives us a feeling of security. Any change requires arduous 
effort— new memorization, new vocabulary, etc. Anything 
new tends to make us conscious of our feelings of inse- 
curity—the new problem to solve, the challenge of a new 
job, the threat of having to win over new people. What- 
ever the individual is, he tends to keep on being like that 
through common inertia. So it will take work. It is a 
challenge. It is a new horizon to tackle for purposes of 
greater broadening— wider self -improvement. And here is 
a list that may provide the required starting points. 



40 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

Just remember that it takes repeated effort— wherever 
you may need it. That makes me recall the story of the 
advertising executive who said to a member of his staff, 
"The main thing to remember is that repetition, repetition, 
repetition, is the keynote! Don't ever forget to repeat, 
repeat, repeat! It's the only way you can get results!" 

"Yes, sir," the subordinate said, meekly. 

"And now, what was it you came to see me about?" the 
exec asked. 

"Well, sir," came the reply, "a raise! a raise! a raise! a 
raise! a raise! a raise! a raise! a raise!" 

So let's get at it and review a list of habit patterns to 
which we might turn our attention, the sooner to make 
them habitual and get them off our minds so we may turn 
to other things. 

a. Conversationally— -less sarcasm; less argument; improve 
vocabulary; more listening— less talking; keep more 
confidences; less ordering— more requesting. 

b. Self attitudes— don't overestimate own worth or 
knowledge; better self-control over temper, obsti- 
nacy; less sensitivity; less fear of criticism; less fear of 
taking blame for own responsibilities and errors; more 
courageous distribution of details and minor respon- 
sibilities; think less of own personal problems; less 
self-consciousness; more fight for own ideas— less fight 
against criticisms from others if fair; less grabbing 
spotlight, claiming credit; more sharing of credit; less 
underestimating own qualities; be sensibly realistic; 
weigh subjective vs. objective thinking more care- 
fully. 

c. Attitudes toward others— smile frequently; show ap- 
preciation; know your etiquette; seek companions in 
other fields for exchange of ideas; study more about 
human nature in others; more tact and diplomacy; 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 4 1 

less action on persuasion from others until you have 
been sensibly realistic and evaluated propositions ob- 
jectively. 

d. Moral attitudes— avoid profanity; be dependable or 
don't obligate yourself; less dissipating; suspect 
honesty when put under high pressure; evaluate 
realistically and objectively. 

e. Other negative and improvable habits— don't fear 
competition from subordinates; don't run down su- 
periors; don't fear superiors; accept blame when due; 
think more about how to accomplish more through 
improved planning; greater co-operation with asso- 
ciates; get rid of time-wasters, social calls, etc.; better 
supervisory tactics. 

If, when you were a child, you ever took piano lessons 
or any other kind of music lessons where you were forced 
to use that diabolical little black relentless demon called a 
metronome, you most likely will remember how its per- 
sistent ticking sometimes made you want to scream or run 
away. Life is like that too, only no matter how much we 
may want to run away from things, we just can't do it. As 
a result, however, we do think up some of the most in- 
genious devices for putting things off, or arriving at sub- 
stitutes for the physical act of running away. 

Many of these "time wasters" in an otherwise efficient 
man's life may be directly causitive factors in why the 
man remains narrow— not open to newer and greater op- 
portunities. For the purposes of personal pin-pricking, I 
am including these items for your inspection. 

a. Doing a host of things which, while not too unimpor- 
tant, certainly are not deserving of the time they take; 
or putting time and energy into things which do not 
count. 



42 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



b. Going from one office to another just to visit and see 
how things are going— frequently an imposition on 
other people's time and not important to you anyway. 

c. Writing poorly planned letters so that they are para- 
graphs or pages longer than required. 

d. Do pleasant easy jobs and let the difficult problems 
pile up until time forces you into action. 

e. Back-track frequently— that is, offer long-winded ex- 
planations to everyone who will listen as to why you 
did this or why you did that. 

f. Go overboard on hobbies having no bearing on your 
occupation or business education. 

g. Paying your home bills in the office; making social 
dates for yourself and your wife; extended phone 
calls of a purely chatty nature. 

h. Turning hypochondriac with a lot of small aches and 
ills that give you plenty of excuse for time off; or 
exercising your rights of office by coming in late and 
leaving early. 

Well, a yawn may be bad manners but at least it's an 
honest opinion. Perhaps that is the way you feel about all 
this now. That is entirely up to the reader. Remember, I 
am not telling you anything. This is simply a guide for 
those who choose to view it in a positive way. I hope it 
will be like the uncomfortable bed. I hope you will find 
in it stimulus enough to get up and remake it. 

Besides that, there will be some others who will be 
thinking, "This fellow is straying from his theme. He is 
supposed to tell me how to broaden myself and all he is 
doing is to give me directions on how to be more efficient 
in my working hours. Isn't that going to make me more 
narrow than ever? " 

Not so. Without all the personal efficiency you can 
muster to handle your daily responsibilities, you cannot 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 43 

expect to have time for anything else. Without time for 
other things, how can you expect to broaden? This matter 
of better personal efficiency is the first step. Like learning 
to walk before you run. People are very blind, as a rule, 
to the tremendous amount of inefficiency in their daily 
activities. Perhaps this chapter has served to open your eyes 
to a few in your own life. 

In an interview with Thomas S. Sites, Assistant Vice- 
President, The Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn, he men- 
tioned this business of time-wasters. "The greatest time- 
wasters for the average executive, in my opinion, are those 
people, who, through a lack of ability or mental laziness, 
present matters which are half-prepared, half-thought 
through, half baked. Their hope is," he said, "that the 
executive will put it in his mental oven and finish their job 
for them. My personal feeling is that the executive should 
refuse to take the time to do this and should require that 
subordinates and associates carry through to the proper, or 
required, stage of development. If they are not capable of 
this, such people should not be continued in the positions 
they occupy. They are a detriment— not an asset." 

And we must consider other phases of the executive's 
life. In approaching these I would like to relate here the 
story of Mr. Magnus. He wanted to get into the Magnus 
Chemical Company, Inc. (N. J.) and for several weeks 
hung around the front door until his persistence got him 
in. He was put on the payroll as an assistant watchman. 
But such lowly work was not for him. He was considered 
by company officials as more the executive type. His 
ability to get along with everyone, his prompt responses to 
suggestion, his interest in watching others work, his great 
knack of looking wise and saying nothing, all added up to 
quick promotion. Three weeks after playing the best of 
politics, he was appointed an honorary vice-president. Of 



44 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

course, the average man couldn't have accomplished that. 
Mr. Magnus, in fact, is a dog— part beagle. 

What made that story so interesting to me, however, 
were the human qualities which ran so parallel between 
some men and that dog. Most executives are not tin gods, 
as some subordinates seem to think. In fact, they have 
such ingrained idiosyncrasies and eccentricities that people 
find it very easy to take advantage of them, to the detri- 
ment of their personal efficiency. It is no different than the 
way a youngster will get around his parents by playing on 
their feelings, prejudices, etc., to gain a point. Word is 
quickly passed around never to approach JB with a prob- 
lem until after lunch, or to see RH only at 10:30 a.m. 
after he has sent his secretary back to her desk. Approach 
at any other time at the peril of your job! 

Then there are those who know very well that it is easy 
to get an extra day off, or an afternoon for a ball game. 
Old Johnson is O.K. for anything if you'll just open up 
on his golf game, or on boating, or praise the kids in the 
picture on his desk. All the while, Mr. Executive is con- 
templating himself as an objective supervisor, able to 
weigh and judge and make his decisions impartially for the 
best interest of the firm— and he thinks to the ultimate 
benefit of his reputation. 

No one is asking you to act inhuman or to be coldly 
unaffected by such approaches, but just to weigh, and not 
to let others take advantage of you— something subordi- 
nates will deliberately engage in to gain their own ends. It 
would surprise you how often this happens. 

Other executives I know brag about their organizations. 
"We have a regular club. No time clocks and everyone 
comes in to work on time. Just a big happy family. No 
back-biting. No one trying to knife you." After a short 
period of observation you begin to see signs of the place 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 45 

being riddled with office politics. I do not say the execu- 
tives are dishonest in their appraisal of such organizations 
—just blind to the facts. And you can't be blind to facts 
if you would be personally efficient. 

Another executive error is to develop a great deal of 
control or power in an organization and then to delegate 
responsibilities to others in such a fashion that factions- 
one, two, three, or more— can spring up. All sorts of battle 
lines are then drawn and the only result can be less effi- 
ciency and more time-consuming conferences for the 
executive. It is for this very reason that the author very 
carefully analyzes an organization before accepting con- 
sulting assignments. I want to find out if there are factions, 
how to avoid arousing their antagonism, and then to learn 
if I have one strongly entrenched executive to back me up 
—preferably one who can bank on getting backing himself 
from higher up if we need it. 

You may not be aware of it, but how frequently have 
you cheated yourself of efficient personnel through per- 
sonal prejudices? I have yet to meet a company official who 
will claim other than that he pays no attention to religious 
differences in his employment practices. And yet, I have 
seen, in company after company, where a dozen or so 
executives and lesser supervisory personnel are all of simi- 
lar religions. Or where a new department head takes over, 
and in a period of time which permits replacements 
through normal turnover, almost all replacements will be 
of similar religious attitudes as that of the department head. 
Coincidences? No. It happens too frequently. I merely 
point this out, not to criticize, but to indicate that we do 
permit our judgment to be swayed by our prejudices. Do 
you believe you can attain full personal mental efficiency 
under such circumstances? Think it over. 

Another stumbling block to personal efficiency is a state 



46 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

of boredom. Earlier in this book I brought this matter up 
and explained that some of the most bored people I know 
are executives. That is one of the reasons for this book. 
Having reached top-flight jobs, many are coasting. They 
have the feeling, "This is as far as I go. I guess I've earned 
the right to take it easy and let others do the work." While 
the philosophy isn't at all bad, and not unjustified, the 
acceptance of an attitude that "this is the end of the line" 
is very unhealthy. Lacking adequate motivation or pur- 
pose—goals we do not see because we do not look for them 
—results in a state of mental and emotional tension. We 
seem to have more time to develop subjective thoughts 
and subjective thinking habits. Boredom will also result 
when actual limitations are placed on us to prevent us 
from gratifying our desires for further progress. 

Keeping busy is not the answer to boredom. We can be 
fully occupied, but as long as incentives and ambitions to 
tackle new aims are missing we will still be bored. That 
there is danger in such a situation is amply supported by 
studies made at the University of California where they 
discovered that increasing boredom tends to make eyelids 
droopy, produces a set "frowning" expression on the face, 
induces a gradual loss of motor co-ordination, develops 
noticeable hand tremors, and even tends to make some 
people incapable of fine muscular co-ordination. Other 
symptoms include marked depression, slowing down of 
the mental processes, and increased personal sensitivities. 
Under such circumstances, do you wonder I bring up the 
subject of boredom and do you see how it would ulti- 
mately make of any executive an abject failure? You can- 
not, for your own sake, permit yourself to be without 
those new horizons at which to aim, and for which to 
work. But again I must warn you that it is not easy. If you 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 47 

are already subject to boredom you will find it much more 
pleasant to want to cling to that state through feelings of 
inertia rather than to throw it off in a surge of new activi- 
ties. You might stand on your dignity, at this point, and 
say, "This fellow should know just how much respon- 
sibility I have. How could I be bored?" The warning still 
stands— no matter how busy, you may be bored from lack 
of incentives in your own future. Besides, a man who 
stands on his dignity usually has very little standing room 
—so don't lose your balance. 

The best start one can get in avoiding boredom is to give 
all of yourself to whatever you are doing— when you are 
doing it. Adopt an attitude that neither success nor failure 
are permanent situations. They can only be permanent 
situations in your own mind, and either thought can lead 
to personal disintegration. Similarly, do not accept your 
moods as permanent. You are no different than anyone 
else. You have no monopoly on either anxiety or happiness. 
Your life is just as up and down as the other fellow's, so 
take it in stride. When feeling down, the best thing to do 
is to get as far away as possible from people who will 
sympathize with you. People like that will only tend to in- 
crease your self-pity and satisfy your momentary desire to 
submit to your feelings. In line with the thoughts in this 
book, organize your life for greater personal efficiency as a 
new goal to be reached, and identify yourself closely with 
these suggestions so that you can lift yourself above the 
petty and trivial things which happen around you every 
day. 

So far, I do not believe I have been farfetched in these 
suggestions for greater executive efficiency. In fact, you 
should have had any number of opportunities to smile at 
yourself— or to see yourself described to a rather accurate 
degree. If you do not find in yourself some traces of be- 



48 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

havior as I have described it, then you are indeed in bad 
condition. As Philip J. Kelly, Advertising Director, Na- 
tional Distillers Products Corporation, told me at an inter- 
view: "The brass hat is usually blinded by the fog of his 
own ego, is stuffy, overly busy, and self-important. The 
progressive executive is self-analytical, calm, humble, and 
accomplishes a great deal with no apparent effort." Evi- 
dently I have some support for my statements, and prob- 
ably a great deal more than I know about— not having 
interviewed every executive in the country. 

In another interview, this one with Paul E. Seaman, 
Eastern Sales Manager of Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 
I asked the question, "In your experience, what are the 
principal stumbling blocks the executive must overcome to 
succeed as an executive; and what do you consider the 
worst failings or weaknesses an executive can display?" 

Mr. Seaman replied: "I believe the first thing he must 
learn to do is to exercise good judgment free from personal 
prejudice. Sometimes I think that men are born with this 
ability, but I have known more than a few men who have 
been able to achieve the ability to do this through personal 
improvement and experience. A good executive must keep 
in mind that any exceptions to rules may come back to 
slap him in the face weeks or even months later. He must 
be a diplomat and be able to end any interview in a posi- 
tive, friendly manner. He should be able to smile freely 
and easily because this is one sure way of making people 
agreeable to his requirements. He must be a good judge of 
human nature and fair to both sides in a decision. He must 
learn to delegate authority and details to his subordinates 
and then hold them responsible for results. But he must at 
the same time acquire the ability to police his instructions 
and the duties assigned to others in such a manner as to 



PATHS TO GREATER PERSONAL EFFICIENCY 49 

permit subordinates to believe they are working under 
their own steam and yet insure himself that the job will be 
done right. 

"As for weaknesses and failings in the executive, I be- 
lieve the worst of these to be a belligerent attitude toward 
employees or outside contacts; failure to smile; inflated 
ideas of his own importance. The brass hat, for example, 
puts himself up on a pedestal and seldom smiles or relaxes 
when discussing business affairs. He tries to give the im- 
pression that he is a machine, a paragon of perfection, and 
not an ordinary human being. He treats his subordinates 
as work producers only, and seldom engages in conversa- 
tion with them on the human level. He believes there are 
only two sides to any question— his own opinions and the 
wrong opinions. He is seldom willing to experiment, even 
on a limited scale, with new ideas or suggestions— unless 
they are his own or unless he can sell them as his own." 

You are in some form of driver's seat. Your respon- 
sibilities are not only to get the organization on the right 
road, but to keep it there. Additionally, in fairness to your- 
self, you have your own future to seek. No man has ever 
reached the top. Only by top-flight personal efficiency— 
physically as well as mentally— can you do your own job 
and have sufficient time to tackle the new horizons we 
have yet to consider an important part of the successful 
executive's life pattern. 

Most successful men are average men who either had a 
chance or took a chance. Either way, you took advantage 
of your chance or chances but how long you retain the 
advantage is a matter of personal effort and desire. There 
is a moral in the minister's remark: "If it rains on the Judg- 
ment Day a lot of church people are going to miss the 
service." 



50 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"Presuming many executives to be narrowly special- 
ized in their own fields, what would you suggest as 
broadening activities?" 

Lawrence M. Hughes, Executive Editor, Advertising 
Age, states: "The problem of keeping thinking and action 
out of a rut probably hinges on two subsidiary points: the 
amount of intellectual curiosity the man has (what he reads, 
how much he travels, what shows he sees, what people he 
talks with) and imagination. Only through imagination or 
empathy can the garden variety executive discover how 
those below or above him feel, think, and believe. One of 
my pet theories is that the real stumbling block in labor 
relations is the wholesale inability of most executives to 
imagine the frame of reference which most of their workers 
have; this includes those who started at the bottom. Be- 
cause most who did had the assurance, either granted or 
innate, that they wouldn't remain there or even on the 
lower rungs. As for the remedies, intellectual curiosity can 
be stimulated by varied and graphic experiences; imagina- 
tion, I suspect, is something you have or have not." 

Edward M. Douglas, Vice-President, International Busi- 
ness Machines Corporation, states: "With regard to this 
question, in so far as we are all concerned in IBM it has 
always been the policy of Mr. Watson and the manage- 
ment to extend to all employees full opportunity to partici- 
pate in inter-industry, civic, and community activities. 
As a matter of fact, these outside interests are encouraged 
as a facet of good citizenship and because they broaden the 
individual's horizons and abilities and contribute toward 
the versatility of his operation." 



CHAPTER 5 
More Fact-finding and Better Judgment 



The executive who mentally fluctuates is always a fizzle. 
The double-minded individual, the pillar-to-post thinker, is 
a compromise. He is neither a success or a failure— just a 
compromise. Where our wishes are very much concerned, 
or our hopes overly ambitious, it would be wiser to mis- 
trust our judgments. The same is true when we base our 
judgments and decisions on the jaundiced ideas of our 
associates and advisors, or on the weather-vane opinions of 
our well-meaning friends. 

Fact-finding, judgment, and decision are closely related 
terms. We are inclined to forget this in the confusion of 
pseudo-confident voices which tend to mislead us; voices 
which have themselves never acquired the habit of arriving 
at the difference between fact and fancy; voices which 
have never learned the habit of keeping an open mind until 
all the evidence has been gathered and considered; voices 
which have not yet learned that nearly all men dwell on 
some past blunders, and with this mud in their minds they 
look over into the future for more trouble. 

A mule knows more when he wants to know and less 
when you want him to know than any other animal. There 
are a lot of executives in that same class. A better name is 
my other choice— brass hats. You may not entirely agree 
with my mule theory, but you will concede that we all 
make a "perfect ass" of ourselves at times because of deci- 

51 



52 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

sions based on generalities, prejudices, carelessness, and lack 
of sufficient information. 

No sane man would try to row a boat against the tide 
with one oar out of commission. He knows that he would 
go in circles and the tide would bear him in the wrong 
direction as well. No executive can hold back the deleteri- 
ous results of judgments made with his fact-finding pro- 
pelling power out of commission. Success calls for the 
employment of every fact, the investigation of every 
avenue of inquiry, which the individual may have at his 
disposal. 

Every day we are called upon to make "quick" deci- 
sions. These are seldom of such importance that we need 
consider them here. I would suggest, however, that we 
keep them in mind in order to employ the same type of 
thinking which will be suggested for judgment and deci- 
sions requiring more time for consideration. On the other 
hand, we must consider those "quick" decisions where 
important ends are at stake and dire emergency calls for 
immediate action with as much accuracy as we can manage. 

This situation is ably illustrated in two examples that 
come to mind. An officer once came to Grant's head- 
quarters during the days of the Civil War and called to his 
attention the vast expenditure of money involved in an 
order he had given, and he asked Grant if he was sure he 
was right. "No," Grant said, "I am not; but in war any- 
thing is better than indecision. It is up to us to decide. If I 
am wrong we will soon find out and can do the other 
thing. But not to decide wastes both time and money, and 
might ruin everything." 

Weighing possible ruin as against the possibility of an 
error which might be corrected with less harm and cost- 
Grant let the facts help him. He had an element of time 
with which he could, and did, gamble. 



MORE FACT-FINDING AND BETTER JUDGMENT 53 

But our world moves faster these days. Some important 
decisions do have to be made quickly. And they are just as 
vital to our success, as the right decisions would have been 
successful in the following case. This story was related to 
me by an insurance executive as a true case. 

A high performance single engine four-place private 
plane, with insufficient altitude on take-off, flew into a 
hangar at full power. Pilot, mechanic, and passenger were 
in the plane. The first two were killed and the passenger 
seriously injured. The pilot was qualified to fly the plane 
but had not flown it during the winter months. Possible 
error number one: there was some question as to whether 
the pilot received a proper check-out by a competent in- 
structor before he resumed flying after his lay-off. Possible 
error number two: he took off on the turf instead of the 
hard surfaced runway. Witnesses said the plane took off 
after a normal run of 625 feet, leveled off, veered slightly 
to the left and continued barely off the ground for ap- 
proximately 975 feet before crashing the hangar at full 
speed. 

What happened? The cause will be listed as "pilot error." 
But the real cause probably happened before the flight. 
The pilot, a physician, was not an exhibitionist. On the 
contrary, the case indicates that he realized he must exer- 
cise every care. He gave up winter flying as a sensible 
thing to do. He was testing a new manifold pressure gauge 
as an additional check on the operation of his engine. 
Despite all his precautions, he failed in some obvious facts. 
He did not anticipate the need for a complete check- 
out. This would be necessary after six months' inactivity 
during which time the average pilot would have lost most 
of the easy and natural co-ordination of controls and feel 
of the ship needed during the busy moments of take-off. 

What happened? After taking off, he either failed to 



54 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

feel or see his slight veer to the left which headed him 
straight for the hangar— twenty seconds to go. How could 
he fail to look up and scan his flight path? Something was 
wrong. Otherwise, in observing take-off procedure he 
would intermittently, consciously without indecision or 
fumbling, scan the flight path in between engine instru- 
ment readings, and maintaining flight. He didn't. Four 
seconds to go. 

What was absorbing his attention? Was he confused? 
Poor engine performance? Indecision? Fumbling? Instru- 
ment fascination holding his attention on the new gadget, 
completely blocking out reality? And then, too late- 
jerking his head up at instinctive danger— the moment of 
impact and total destruction, twenty-three seconds after 
take-off. 

It can happen to men when their lives are in the balance. 
I used this incident because I know any number of people 
who will be scoffing at this chapter, reading it with the 
mental reservation, "This isn't for me, but there are a lot 
of other people who need it." I used that story because 
you may never have to make a decision or series of de- 
cisions where your life hangs in the balance. If men cannot 
be trusted to be error-proof under such circumstances, 
perhaps there is some justification for what I have to write 
here. Perhaps there is some good reason why I may sug- 
gest that you keep an open mind to what follows. 

In the average business, executives do not often face such 
vital problems of "quickie" judgment. There is usually 
time for consideration. All the more reason why we may 
use such time carelessly. In fact, the number of executives 
who misuse the time for consideration is as appalling as the 
following accident report is tragically funny: "Father of 
ten shot— mistaken for rabbit." 

There are many ways of misusing valuable time allowed 



MORE FACT-FINDING AND BETTER JUDGMENT $$ 

to you before handing down your judgment or decision. 
Any of the following may be considered in this classifica- 
tion: 

a. I do not keep my mind open to new facts, especially 
if they tend to contradict some of my personal 
opinions and prejudices. 

b. I am afraid to change my mind because of a strong 
personal pride. 

c. I tend to trust my own intuition and intelligence 
rather than listen carefully to both sides before mak- 
ing up my mind. 

d. I am not willing to lay aside my convictions, tradi- 
tions, or beliefs, long enough to find out whether new 
facts ought to change my views. 

e. I do inject my age and experience as an argument 
for the correctness of my ideas and opinions even 
though I know I'm treading on thin ice more often 
than not. 

f. I try to give my best opinions, even though my 
knowledge may be sketchy. I can't afford to let others 
know that I do not know. 

g. I find it difficult, if not impossible, to ask questions 
when I need information, because it makes me feel 
"stupid" or "inferior." 

There is no need to score this list— this is not a grade- 
school examination. Brass hats, and others with carry-over 
child-like emotional reactions, will favor themselves. The 
emotional program of that list has certain advantages for 
the individual who will admit to it. It is very comfortable, 
and grows more comfortable with time because it doesrtt 
involve risk, change, or daring. Thinking people are always 
unpopular with those directed by their emotions. They 
tend to make things uncomfortable for the non-thinkers 
who like to avoid the challenge, the conflict of opinions. 



$6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

Yes, the emotionally driven individual may be comfortable, 
but the thinker achieves a self-respect that is more than 
worth while. As one business executive told me: "Learn- 
ing mathematics we learn methods of finding an unknown 
by working* with known facts. The same is applicable to 
our judgments or decisions. A good executive thinks sys- 
tematically. He gets his facts together, he analyzes them 
in the light of his own knowledge and experience, he 
acknowledges and recognizes conflicting data, he obtains 
outside opinion and advice on conflicting data, weighs the 
possibilities, and reaches his conclusions in a well-ordered 
and thorough mental process." 

The president of a major industry asked me to withhold 
his identity when he replied to my question, "What was 
the worst decision you ever made concerning your own 
welfare in business?" He said, "As I look back over my 
career, there is one thing I could have done which would 
have speeded my progress. I held several jobs that stymied 
my advancement. I didn't mark time in the strictest sense, 
and made good money, but actual advancement was not 
in prospect. I accepted the applause and compliments of 
my superiors, and their implied promises of future ad- 
vancement. In doing so I lost several opportunities with 
other firms. I blame my egotism for having blinded me to 
the facts before my eyes. In each case it was a family run 
business. No major executive was outside the family." 

Good thinking processes must start with facts— better 
fact-finding. No thinking processes start with opinions. 
Opinions are conditioned reflexes. Yet, we tend to mix up 
these points every day without even realizing it. Probably 
we find it easier to accept second-hand ideas from some- 
one we feel is an authority, or even worse, accept without 
any doubts or reservations the ideas and opinions of author- 
ities who are on ground entirely outside their own field. 



MORE FACT-FINDING AND BETTER JUDGMENT 57 

Top executives in business and politics surround them- 
selves with advisors— so many think— but in fact they are 
after authoritative information whenever they need it. In- 
formation they can depend on as being accurate. They 
certainly are not after advice. They realize the major differ- 
ence between getting the best and most reliable informa- 
tion before making a decision, as against accepting the 
advice of a lot of "yes" men. Again we see the difference 
between the progressive executive and the egotistical brass 
hat. 

I was talking to a business organization in the Mid-west, 
and after the meeting the president of the group called on 
me in my hotel room. It seems that he had a good job and 
was doing very well in it. Two acquaintances were starting 
a new business and wanted him to go in with them. It 
would mean mortgaging his home to the hilt, and closing 
out all his savings. The risk of success was 50-50. 

"Everyone has been advising me to go ahead," he said. 
"You know, the old saws about he who doesn't take a 
risk never gets anywhere, and other such advice." 

"But what are the facts?" I asked him. 

"Well, besides those I gave you about my finances, my 
investigations show only a 50-50 chance of success. If we 
succeed, we'll be on easy street." 

"And if you don't?" I asked. 

"Well, the other two fellows will be O.K. They have 
plenty of money. But I'll be broke— completely flat." 

His advisors did not get the facts before encouraging 
this man. They were asking him to risk the security of his 
wife and two children— a risk they probably would not 
have taken themselves. I doubt if they would have paid his 
debts or loaned him the money to do so, had he gone 
ahead with the proposition. He kept his job, and his ad- 
vancement has continued. The business venture did not 



$8 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

succeed. Even if it had, I do not believe he would have 
regretted his final decision. It was, in view of all the facts, 
the safest. 

It was Bertrand Russell who wrote, "Human beings 
find it difficult to base their opinions on evidence rather 
than on their hopes." 

« |We must therefore consider the "conditioned reflex" 
action of our opinions as against what constitutes a fact. 
The knowledge, or conscious reminder of how condition- 
ing affects us will frequently aid us in acquiring better 
thinking habits. 

For sake of illustration, let us consider the automobile 
driver who was commandeered by a police officer. "Follow 
that car, hurry!" the policeman shouted, as he jumped on 
the running board of the car and held on. The driver 
roared off in pursuit. Suddenly, without any warning, the 
driver brought his car to a screeching halt and the officer 
was thrown into the street. Picking himself up and walking 
back to the car, he glared at the driver. "What in hell was 
the idea of that?" he yelled at him. "Now we've lost that 
car! I ought to run you in!" 

"I'm sorry, officer," the driver explained. "You see, I 
just stopped automatically— that traffic light turned red!" 

Our minds can be so conditioned that they will produce 
mental reactions of a constant pattern that will interfere 
with our best judgment or decision. They will dump our 
decisions into the street much like the driver's conditioned 
reaction to red lights dumped the officer into the street. 
No one is born to do this, however. We learn such con- 
ditioning. Some of it is for our own good— much of it is 
nothing more than prejudice, bias, personal likes, etc. 

I hope I shall not be accused of over-simplification in 
this matter of conditioning. I did it because I consider it 
highly important that you know what goes on in your own 



MORE FACT-FINDING AND BETTER JUDGMENT 59 

mind/ Just as you eat in response to feelings of hunger, 
stop a car when you see a red light, cough when some- 
thing irritates your throat— your mind, without any con- 
scious factual evaluation, can be taught to condemn or 
accept people, ideas, policies, programs, etc., with utter 
disregard for the proper weighing of factual evidence. 

I have seen brass hats give orders, make decisions, stop 
sensible objections with a wave of the hand— and most of 
those actions stamped with every ear-mark of opinion- 
conditioning, disregarding the evidence which should have 
been considered. 

Try this experiment: Gather together a number of pic- 
tures of children. About a dozen will do. Among these 
have a picture of one of your own children. Shuffle them 
up well. Take a pencil or some other pointed instrument. 
Pick up the top photo and punch out the eyes on the 
picture. Do this in rapid succession. When you come to 
your own child's picture— what will you do? (If you have 
no children, take a dozen pictures of women and include 
one of your wife.) 

Not one man in ten would punch the eyes out. That 
picture would not be a picture. In other words, their con- 
ditioning of love for that child would make them lose sight 
of a fact. The fact is no longer a fact. The fact is a fancy. 
The picture is no longer a picture. The picture is their own 
child. 

The progressive executive must develop a recognition 
reflex— an automatic ability to seek facts instead of ac- 
cepting biased generalities or out-and-out fancy. You do 
not, I assure you, have to resort to such extreme measures 
as the illustration in the previous paragraphs. 

First, we must consider an important item. What is a 
fact? How would we know a fact when we see it? Well, I 
am not an authority on what is a fact. I could use ten 



60 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

thousand words trying to analyze it for you, but I believe 
it would be better judgment on my part to go to an 
authority I greatly respect. In his outstanding fine book, 
People in Quandaries, published by Harper & Brothers, 
Wendell Johnson defines What is a Fact in this way: 

". . . knowing the facts is impossible if one means 
knowing all the facts about anything . . . because you 
will never know them completely. What we call facts have 
a way of changing, so that yesterday's statistics become 
today's fairy tales. Furthermore, a fact appears different 
depending on the point of view; your facts are not 
exactly like those of someone else. Actually, one man's 
facts are not infrequently another man's fiction. 

"If you would recognize a fact when you see one and 
make the most of it, there are, then, four things about any 
fact that you must be clear about: It is necessarily incom- 
plete, it changes, it is a personal affair, and its usefulness 
depends on the degree to which others agree with you 
concerning it. 

"... a fact, as an observation, is a personal affair, to be 
trusted as such and not as a universal truth. This means that 
a fact is useful or dependable, to the degree that other 
persons agree with you; ... if the majority say something 
is green every time you say it is red, you had best take 
their word for it. If a doctor, two internes, and a nurse 
all agree that there are no grasshoppers on your suit jacket, 
you might as well quit trying to brush them off. Generally 
speaking, the more people who agree as to a fact, the more 
dependable the fact is. 

"... there are two qualifications. Some observers are 
more reliable than others, not only because of differences 
in ability to use the same equipment and techniques, but 
also because of differences in available equipment and tech- 
nique. Secondly, some observations simply cannot be veri- 



MORE FACT-FINDING AND BETTER JUDGMENT 6 1 

fied directly by a second party . . . may then be a) re- 
liable, b) deliberately false, or c) hysterical. Whether it is 
one or the other has to be determined by indirect evidence. 
We accept it as reliable when it is consistent with the 
conditions and behavior associated with it. Whether or 
to what degree it is consistent, and so reliable, depends, 
even in this case, on agreement among the persons who are 
in a position to observe its consistency. With these quali- 
fications granted, therefore, we may say that a fact is an 
observation agreed upon by two or more persons situated, 
qualified, and equipped to make it— and the more persons 
agreeing, the better." 

I think you will concede that Wendell Johnson makes 
this matter of factual recognition as clear as a few words 
can do it. At least I have never read, heard, or seen any 
better explanation, though it may somewhere exist. 

The fundamental concept for the executive today, then, 
must be one of adjusting himself to the changes and varia- 
tions in his field— and in any field which will directly or 
indirectly affect his own. He cannot survive as a tool of 
his own mental conditioning. He can only survive by 
recognition reflexes— the ability to recognize, seize, and 
act only on the best of facts. Business today is traveling 
jet-propelled. There is no place or time for the fanciful 
self-sufficient brass hat. 

For further exercise in better fact-finding and better 
judgment, you might check your problem actions against 
this outline: 

a. Determine your objectives, aims, goals, desired re- 
sults. 

b. Look for the facts. Go over any record of similar 
past experience. Find out what rules or policies apply. 
Talk with everyone concerned and get their opinions, 
knowledge, feelings. (Yes, feelings— it may warn 



6l BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

you to analyze whether you have injected some of 
your own in disregard of actual facts.) 

c. Consider, weigh, decide. Be sure you have all the 
story obtainable. Fit your facts into logical patterns. 
Consider their bearing on each other and what pos- 
sible actions are open. Check on established practices 
and policies to measure deviations. Consider again the 
final objectives, aims, goals, or desired results to make 
certain you are still headed in the right direction. 

d. Make certain you are not jumping to conclusions- 
then take action. Be careful of your timing; see that 
you have the right kind of help, or have assigned 
details to the right subordinates; check and police the 
work to see that it is done properly— without being 
obvious. This will help you catch errors in time for 
corrective measures. Don't expect perfection— and 
don't pass the buck. 

e. Check final results— be particularly curious about 
hitches, delays, minor errors, to take advantage of 
this new knowledge on the next problem, if it can 
be applied. 

There was a manufacturer who could have used such a 
check list. He had an advertisement in a well-known 
national weekly magazine some time before this writing. 
He made an electric razor and the advertisement was 
probably influenced by the man who invented it, the engi- 
neer who produced it, or a plant manager. Whoever he 
was he knew that the razor worked well— knew all about 
it— but he didn't bother to find out how to approach the 
public. It was a wonderful piece of machinery. He showed 
a phantom view of the razor's insides. He talked of the 
number of vibrations, cutting edges, lifetime non-kinking 
cord, non-breakable case, sealed-in-oil motor, etc., but not 
once did he tell the public that the thing shaved! 



MORE FACT-FINDING AND BETTER JUDGMENT 63 

To provide better fact-finding recognition reflex learn- 
ing, I have some suggestions for achieving this new horizon. 
It may be done in your spare time, and I believe you will 
find it very interesting although it may interfere with your 
pure enjoyment of entertainment while you do it. After a 
few weeks of such analyzing, I feel you will consider it 
a small sacrifice in view of your new mental attitudes. 

1. Set up several short periods a day, ten minutes or 
so, during which you might review things you have 
said, or things you listened to, evaluate them as ob- 
jectively as possible to see where fact deviated from 
wishful thinking or fancy. 

2. When you go to a movie or a play, when it is sup- 
posed to carry a message, try to determine how the 
writers and producers are trying to win your accep- 
tance of their message by appeals to your emotions. 
Try to uncover "against" arguments which they have 
carefully avoided. 

3. When listening to a political speech, an appeal for 
charity, a religious dissertation on a non-sectarian 
basis— try to uncover their appeals to your emotions, 
separate the facts, and, if you can, uncover -facts left 
unsaid because they might prove argumentative. 

4. In cases where you disagree with what you see or 
hear, in items i through 3, try to determine whether 
your disagreement is due to previous mental con- 
ditioning to reject the things you dislike, or whether 
your disagreement is based on common sense factual 
evidence. You will feel a bit frustrated at times 
because you cannot "talk back" and debate the sub- 
ject. This is a good time to examine yourself— is it 
because you know fact or because of automatic 
mental bias, prejudice, conditioning? 



64 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

The selection of Madison and Jefferson was sufficient 
proof that George Washington had one right brand of 
knowledge. He acknowledged that he did not know it all, 
and this is knowledge. The very determination of some 
men to cling to some absurd idea, doctrine, or theory, con- 
firms the position of each as that of a brass hat, and not of 
a progressive fact-finding executive. 

They say that light travels at remarkable speed until it 
hits the human mind. Here is a new horizon— and a chance 
to let in a little light. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"In your opinion, what are the essential measures an 
executive should take to broaden his viewpoint and 
improve his abilities to handle his responsibilities?" 

Fen K. Doscher, Vice-President in charge of Sales, Lily- 
Tulip Cup Corporation, states: "In my opinion there are 
three spheres of activities which are absolutely essential if 
the average executive is to broaden his point of view and be 
progressive: 

1. He should mingle intimately with both ends of his 
business, from production to sales, in order to fully 
comprehend the contributions of both to the end re- 
sults. Too many executives are desk and appointment- 
pad slaves. They should leave their desks more fre- 
quently for the field. 

2. He should develop an ability to surround himself 
with two types of men— a. those with long experience, 
and b. juniors with new ideas and progressive view- 
points. This will tend to have a stabilizing affect on 
decisions and planning. Long experienced men are 
usually security conscious and so desire to avoid 
errors wherever possible. Younger men are more in- 



MORE FACT-FINDING AND BETTER JUDGMENT 6$ 

clined to advance ideas and take some chances. The 
two combine for a progressive balance and intelligent 
progress. Too many executives are prestige minded 
and fail to see the advantages to be gained from this 
type of organization and administration. 
3. He should engage in outside activities with other men 
at his own level; those engaged in other businesses and 
industries. In this way he can keep himself informed 
on developments outside the narrow confines of his 
own line, and on developments which might have 
either a direct or indirect bearing on his own busi- 
ness." 

Raymond C. Johnson, Assistant Vice-President, New 
York Life Insurance Company, states: "Today's progres- 
sive executive must be constantly on the alert to changes 
and variations in business— his own and such allied fields as 
may affect his own field either directly or indirectly. In my 
opinion, he should not neglect such avenues of self-im- 
provement and broadening as: 

a. An understanding of the importance for the construc- 
tive organization of his time 

b. Periodically evaluating his knowledge of better per- 
sonal relations 

c. Periodically evaluating the identical interests of man- 
agement and employees 

d. Periodically questioning his own routine methods to 
see if better, quicker methods may be applied 

e. Periodic self-analysis of his own specialized knowl- 
edge to determine how out-dated it may be and what 
steps are required to bring such knowledge or skills 
back to current levels 

The progressive executive realizes not only on his nar- 
rowly specialized job skills. He seeks to grow horizontally 



66 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

with increasing rapidity as his vertical advancement nears 
its final limits. It is difficult to conceive of any executive 
remaining for long in a successful position without that 
type of expanding point of view." 



CHAPTER 6 

The Danger of Repeating Errors 



Out of pity, philanthropy, goodness of heart, or just 
ignorance, we may hire a careless clerk, a careless anybody, 
but intelligence knows that it is not good business to carry 
this careless zero into management circles at the expense of 
the willing and the efficient. That sort of management per- 
sonnel doesn't last. Repeated errors are indisputable evi- 
dence of either ignorance or indifference. One may take his 
choice. 

One of the leading companies in the electrical industry 
has been beating the drums for years to get the general 
public and industry to use more electricity. After all these 
years, one executive in the firm who would not permit 
himself to mould in the perpetual habit of either ignorance 
or indifference, initiated a quiet survey which showed that 
the company is far from electrified and could step up its 
own use of electric power by a third. 

New York has a law which requires fourth offenders 
against society to be sentenced to the penitentiary for life. 
Every year there are new "lifers." If such stiff penalties do 
not deter a repetition of errors— can the average individual, 
in the average well-ordered life, be certain that he is not 
repeating his own errors over and over again? Can he be 
sure that he is not doing things the wrong way all the time? 
This may not be serious, or it may be serious enough to 
undermine his very security and career. 

67 



68 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

And It isn't as though these errors were concealed or 
difficult to ascertain. The head of one company told me, 
"I have had many executives working for me who erred 
over and over again in spite of obvious warnings. One in 
particular, who was an excellent executive in other ways, 
erred many times notwithstanding many severe warnings 
given him. His excellent personality overshadowed his 
shortcomings to such an extent that it took a number of 
years before the weight of his continued errors brought 
about his elimination. He was surprised when it happened 
for I believe he was lulled into a sense of false security 
because nothing drastic had ever happened in spite of his 
repeated errors and the warnings given him. The man just 
couldn't seem to change his own habit patterns, and I do 
not believe any man can be worthy of the trust and re- 
sponsibility of an executive position unless he is flexible 
enough to change, and sense a need for change." 

Frank M. Head, Vice-President of United Cigar- Whelan 
Stores Corporation, told me recently, "Repetition of error 
reminds me of some brass hats. I consider brass hats the 
type of executives who are arbitrary, and will not deviate 
from established habits, policies, personal beliefs. In my 
estimation this is one way of being absolutely certain that 
you will make mistakes— the same ones on many occasions. 
The progressive executive, on the other hand, is one who 
is liberal minded, and will accept suggestions that will 
bring about improvement in established policies, regardless 
of his former habits and beliefs." 

It seems then that we must avoid the predicament of the 
fellow who found a cheap boomerang and practiced with 
it until he could perform perfectly even in the darkness of 
night. He perceived that he could do even better if he had 
a new and better boomerang. So he went out and bought it. 
But, so the story goes, he is now in an institution, for it 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 69 

seems he learned to use the old one so well he couldrtt 
throw it away! Our error habits can get us into similar 
difficulties. 

An executive with George W. Millar & Company, Inc., 
H. Henry Krudop explained to me his own system for 
avoiding continued errors, and it was so logical and orderly 
a method that I got his permission to repeat the information 
in this book. He makes two brief lists on occasions. He 
doesn't do it three times a year, or twice, or every month 
or so on the dot. Whenever he feels the need for a self- 
check, he does this regardless of frequency. 

LIST 1 

a. Lists the things he does frequently each week— the more 
or less regular tasks and requirements. 

b. Checks each item to see if he can improve his methods, 
if he can delegate some details to others, if he is need- 
lessly doing things which should be handled by his staff, 
and if policies, routing, or personnel require change, im- 
provement, or better supervision. 

LIST 2 

a. He keeps a list of his errors which come to his attention. 

b. He checks items which are not of his own making, but 
a result of poor policy, methods, or routines on which 
he has had no opportunity to voice an opinion— in view 
of future suggestion possibilities for higher management 
to consider. 

c. Eliminates his own errors, and those errors which he can 
control in others. 

"This looks kind of trite, I imagine," he said to me, "but 
it is a lot easier on paper than in actual practice. However, 



70 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

I can assure you, once you get the hang of it, it is sur- 
prisingly effective." 

In the preceding chapter I mentioned that people tend 
to adopt a style of living, and that it extends itself into 
every phase of living. It applies to our working habits, our 
mental patterns, and our methods for judging and deciding. 
Most men are creatures of habit. They are addicted to 
certain ways. They contract definite customs. They get 
into grooves. They keep on in the old jogging way until 
they become seasoned to error repetition as well as the 
methods they feel are most secure for their own welfare. 

In his article, "You Rarely Learn By Experience," pub- 
lished in Your Life Magazine— April 1945, Albert Edward 
Wiggam states: 

"When some wise man said— The only thing you learn 
from experience is that you don't learn anything from 
experience— he did not learn this charmingly false idea 
from his own experience. Few people ever learn that much 
from experience. He got his idea from the only place he 
could get it— the experiments of the scientists. They are the 
only human beings who utterly distrust their own experi- 
ence, because they know it is not only worthless, but leads 
them into error. 

"For example, numerous researches originated by the 
late J. David Houser show that if you ask workers, from 
ditch diggers to executives, fifteen to twenty questions on 
what they consider the most important thing about their 
work and what they desire most, they will invariably rank 
pay all the way from fifth to twelfth in importance. They 
always rank questions dealing with the recognition of their 
dignity and importance as individuals far above pay. 
Workers do not strike for more pay but for more life, 
more recognition of their human dignity. But neither em- 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 7 1 

ployer nor worker could have ever discovered this by ex- 
perience. Only scientific study has found it out. 

"Lest some skeptical soul be so wedded to his habit of 
trusting to his experience that he cannot understand why 
he repeats his own errors frequently, I might append a 
few of the reasons discovered by scientific study and ex- 
periment: 

"i. Nobody knows himself or his experience well 
enough to know why he does what he does or thinks 
what he thinks. Eighteen years of remarkable experiments 
by psychologists Werner Wolff and A. S. Maslowe show 
that hardly one person out of a hundred could recognize 
his own bodily self, should he meet it on the street, much 
less recognize his own mind. He cannot recognize his own 
voice, or handwriting or photographs of his hands, which 
he has been looking at all his life, although when he sees 
them or hears his voice they strangely move him. These 
astounding facts unearthed about the human mind, show 
the impossibility of a man being intelligently guided by 
his past experiences when he cannot even recognize them 
as his own. 

"2. We are guided vastly more by our emotions than 
by our intelligence. We feel our way blindly and vaguely 
instead of thinking our way clearly and intelligently 
through life. 

"3. The deepest urge in human nature is the desire to be 
important— to preserve our ego at all costs. We therefore 
'rationalize' all our experiences and find 'excuses' instead 
of 'reasons' for our conduct, especially for our mistakes 
and misdemeanors. 

"4. Throughout the ages we have been actually taught, 
under threat of hell-fire to 'repent' our errors of experi- 
ence and 'sins.' This has meant making ourselves feel as 
mean, ornery, inferior, cussed, worm-like, and lousy as 



72 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

possible. Psychologists have clearly demonstrated that this 
emotional turmoil not only prevents our making any clear 
analysis of our errors and any intelligent plans to avoid 
their repetition, but actually tends to promote their repe- 
tition, and, partially or altogether, to paralyze our ability 
to reform. 

"In sum total it is experience itself that prevents our 
learning anything but the most meager bits of the Wisdom 
of Life from life itself. We learn nearly all of it from our 
scientists and the other unusual minds that can analyze the 
obvious, and who, therefore, become our teachers and 
leaders." 

Our immaturity in the ability to be flexible is reflected 
in what might be called hypnotic fixation. I might even go 
further and break this down into type of hypnotic fixation: 

Satisfaction with self. We tend to see ourselves possessed 
of such virtues and abilities it is hard to admit that these 
things exist in others. We so pride ourselves in our own 
skills, our own knowledge, our own depth of experience, 
that we feel ourselves perfectly secure from the ultimate 
encroachment of others into our sphere of activity, and we 
resent suggestions that we could benefit or improve by 
changes in our established beliefs and habits. 

Satisfaction with our own logic. We tend to feel absolute 
satisfaction and perfection in how we approach and solve 
our problems. We tend to acquiesce to failure or error by 
rationalizing— in what we consider a reasonable manner— 
that human beings are not perfect, and, therefore, we 
should look at the progress we have made in spite of our 
errors. 

Satisfaction with our own difficulties. We tend to accept 
'Our problems and difficulties with a greater affection than 
to accept possible remedies or changes which would help 
ais correct these things. We tend to love our problems as 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 73 

old people love their ailments. They become conversation 
pieces. We become trouble hypochondriacs. 

You can be mighty sure, if something has been done in 
the same way, by the same methods, by the same routines, 
for fifteen or twenty years, it is a good bet it is being done 
the wrong way— or that better ways exist. You had to learn, 
on the way up, that if you inclined to gloss over your 
errors, or to excuse your mistakes, you would not be con- 
sidered ready for the greater responsibilities of executive 
leadership. 

"You can bandage this thought on your brain," says 
George H. Marchant, Manufacturer's Safe Deposit Com- 
pany. "No man will ever maintain a successful position for 
long until he is willing to make a special study of his own 
errors and then do something about not repeating them." 

Such a prescription is not beyond any intelligent man's 
reach. Regardless of the individual's limitations in his past, 
however great were the perpetuation of his mistakes, the 
fact we can accept is what he may have to do today to 
correct himself is well within his capabilities. You are not 
being called upon to fly to the moon, or to find the 
perfect defense against the atom bomb, or to work up a 
miracle or two. You are only called upon to make a few 
decisions which will affect your own welfare. The only 
price you will have to pay for continued progress, a new 
horizon to achieve, is a few decisions to make some 
changes. You are not held prisoner by habits for you have 
at your command, once you decide to use these things, 
such resources of mental will and intelligence that you 
would hardly assume to claim them on just your own say 
so. Well, take William James' say so then: "The human 
individual lives far within his limits; he possesses powers of 
various sorts which he habitually fails to use. He energizes 
below his maximum, and he behaves below his optimum. 



74 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

His life is contracted like the field of vision of an hysteric 
subject— but with less excuse, for the poor hysteric is 
diseased, while in the rest of us it is only an inveterate 
habit— the habit of inferiority to our full self." 

Thus it is, most rigidity in behavior comes from rigidity 
in thought. Here we store our beliefs, our intentions, our 
so-called reasonableness and logic, and our self-satisfactions 
or hypnotic fixations. And these are the things which 
sponsor the repetition of our errors. At this point I should 
like to present a list of questions which the reader might 
answer. These questions are in two parts— the first set 
representing direct situations which indicate mental and 
behavior rigidity for every "Yes" answer; the second set 
representing indirect situations of mental and behavior 
rigidity for every "Yes" answer: 

SET 1 

a. Are you very set on a specific system for anything? 

b. Do you lean heavily on statistics? 

c. Are you inclined to argue readily? 

d. Do you tend to be impatient with new or different 
ideas? 

e. Do you place a great deal of importance on family an- 
cestry? 

f. Do you like the power or authority of giving orders? 

g. Do you tend to dislike too much familiarity— otherwise 
expressed as "equal rights"? 

h. Do you believe in absolute obedience to leadership— a 

"do or die but don't question me" attitude? 
i. Are you very much concerned with money— your own 

income? 
j. Are you inclined to tell others what is good for them— 

what is right— what is wrong? 
k. Are you inclined to dominate other people's ideas— try 

to alter them, or discourage their use? 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 75 

/. Are you usually on guard against being fooled by 
others? 
m. Do you tend to become visibly angry when someone 
breaks one of your cherished conventions or convic- 
tions? 

n. Do you tend to deny anything until proof is presented? 

0. Are you markedly impatient with people who interrupt 
you? 

p. Are you inclined to be combative when you are con- 
tradicted? 

q. Are you inclined to be overly-critical of the manner- 
isms and behavior of other people? 

SET 2 

a. Do you object strenuously when you are cautioned or 
restrained? 

b. Are you disturbed when others do things in a different 
way from which you would do them? 

c. Do you feel irritable when people express opinions and 
beliefs contrary to your own? 

d. Do you feel exasperated when having to explain things 
more than once? 

e. Do you fear being credulous? 

f. Is it difficult for you to adapt yourself to the ways of 
associates? 

g. Do you pride yourself on your cautious, deliberate, na- 
ture? 

h. Do you hold traditions in very high esteem? 
i. Do you recognize that you are inclined to be stubborn 

and contrary frequently? 
j. Do you consider your personal security more important 

than anything else? 
k. Do you have a very high regard for college degrees? 
/. Are you skeptical when people offer you their help or 

advisory opinions? 



J 6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

m. Do pet superstitions frequently manifest themselves in 

your mind? 
n. Have you a fear of being too general? 
o. Do you tend to refuse to change your opinions? 
p. Does it give you a feeling of elation to prove your 

point? 

The most important part of trying to score yourself on 
those two sets of questions is to determine what lies in 
back of every "Yes" answer. It would be difficult to 
establish any good, average, or poor score. Instead of 
making a game of this important self-inspection, it is the 
serious aspects to which we should look. None of us is 
perfect. Everyone will admit to more than one "Yes" 
answer to those questions. The most perfect man I have 
ever met was the perfect fool. The most dangerous form 
of madness in anyone would be to insist on and expect 
perfection. We are not after that. We are after improve- 
ment. 

Every "Yes" answer indicates error habits. These, as you 
can readily recognize, grow out of a tendency of the mind 
to repeat itself, its processes. The greatest danger here is 
that this habit path tends to become the easy path. There- 
fore, the settled, or habitual, individual sets himself against 
any new way of doing things, any changes which would 
require a personal change in habit or thought. The pro- 
gressive executive, on the other hand, frequently finds 
himself in a position where he must turn aside from these 
old patterns— the easier way— and travel the more difficult 
routes of the strange and unfamiliar, for the sake of con- 
tinued progress. The progressive executive learns quickly 
that the methods which brought him to success may soon 
be out of date. He tries to move with the times to avoid 
stagnation in a continued repetition of his own errors. 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 77 

Recognized errors are in a sense good discipline for they 
teach us not to expect continued success without difficult 
adaptations to changes in methods, trends, and fixed as- 
sumptions. They may teach us also to respect the successes 
of other people and to place the proper values on such 
achievements in terms we can understand. 

For most of us, it is hard to know how to correct such 
bad habit patterns, even when we recognize them for what 
they are. We are inclined to feel frustrated over the 
ethereal quality of thoughts and how to control them, much 
less improve our thinking habits. 

For the average executive— people I consider sufficiently 
intelligent to adopt the idea, there is a method which 
proves very effective. For example you cannot like and 
dislike a person at the same time. One thought will be 
antagonistic to the other. With this as a starting point, 
you can concentrate on your thoughts from the angle of 
what it is you are inhibiting. This is the very foundation of 
thought control, and because all action begins in the 
mind— you can control your behavior patterns. 

The next time you resent some action or behavior in 
others, which is or seems to be accepted by associates, try 
to discover what kept you from thinking in terms of ac- 
ceptance rather than rejection. 

a. Is it a carry-over of parental training in childhood? 

b. Do you, or have you, a desire to do that yourself but 
have restrained yourself because of earlier condition- 
ing? 

c. Is your resenthient inhibiting less desirable admissions 
of jealousy? 

d. Is your resentment inhibiting less desirable thoughts 
of inferior comparisons of self to that other indi- 
vidual? 

You can check your impulses, your desires, in the same 



78 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

manner. The process requires only that you recognize 
when you have a fixed or negative thought pattern, an un- 
desirable thought pattern, or a habitual thought pattern 
which you know is undesirable and therefore an error 
repetition every time you think it. A little practice will 
quickly help overcome stubborness, argumentative atti- 
tudes, contentiousness against new ideas, resentments over 
criticisms, and other patterns which are not compatible 
with the best performance of which an executive should 
be capable. 

W. F. Arnold, Vice-President of the Underwood 
Corporation, said to me, "Fear of failure is the most 
common reason for repeating our own errors. We tend to 
cling to outmoded methods, ideas, routines because they 
are familiar to us. Wrapped up in these are numerous 
errors which we repeat over and over again— for we cannot 
correct ourselves without treading the paths of the new 
methods, new ideas, and new routines. The same applies 
to fear of criticism— which we will tend to ignore if we 
can, justify if we cannot ignore— instead of falling in step 
with our critics and intelligently selecting such points as 
we feel are reasonably just. Similarly, the fear of re- 
sponsibility, which we tend to handle like the fear of 
failure." 

Other errors of reasoning include the error of generaliza- 
tion—applying to all cases or individuals a conclusion es- 
tablished only in one or a few cases— thus, all foreigners are 
bad, all our countrymen are good, distrust of those who 
hold a religious view opposed to our own, etc. And the 
post hoc argument— therefore because of that— in which a 
casual relationship is assumed where a sequence is observed, 
such as ascribing prosperity to a political party which 
happens to be in power just because the farm crops were 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 79 

very good and high employment resulted from increased 
purchasing power. 

Another example is that of giving the word "speculation" 
the connotation of evil when we live in an economy such 
as ours, based on individual ability, individual initiative, 
and individual risk. Our whole economy would collapse 
if progressive people stopped risking their money or their 
brains, and yet some people continue to practice such an 
error of thought. 

Frank W. Love joy, an executive with the Socony- 
Vacuum Oil Company, expressed his opinion of error 
repetition in executive thinking in this way: "In my ex- 
perience I have found that the average executive must 
overcome and discard the fear complexes which usually 
attend the attainment of greater responsibilities. These 
fears engender a too rigid and painstaking application to 
the job which tends to retard the free and easy attitudes so 
essential to efficient administration. Mental rigidity and a 
hanging on to personal beliefs and opinions cause more 
executive errors than any other personal actions." 

Thus we provide another horizon, another achievement 
which the executive may attempt and the degree of success 
will, of course, be no greater than the desire to analyze 
one's self in all honesty. But we face one mental rigidity 
at this point. I believe Frank W. Love joy also expressed 
this point very well when he wrote to me, "The brass 
hat official has a tendency to feel and believe that his job 
makes him, instead of the need for his making the job. 
The brass hat thereby limits his activities and his thinking 
to the limits and patterns of the job as he found it— with 
very great chance for repeating not only his own errors, 
but also the errors of his predecessor. The progressive 
executive, on the other hand, assumes the job to be only a 
starting point for greater achievement, and keeps his mind 



80 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

open, himself ready, for any changes which he may have to 
entertain or initiate." 

Another executive told me of several personal experi- 
ences with executives who repeated their own errors with 
more serious consequences to themselves than they ex- 
pected. "I recall several instances," he said, "where I have 
had field executives who were very successful in their work 
but periodically would over-indulge and disgrace them- 
selves socially. This usually reflected on our company in 
unpleasant ways. I had to warn these men several times a 
year, but even with the understanding that if I heard of 
any further instances of such bad judgment publicly dis- 
played, that they would be automatically fired, they con- 
tinued until they lost their jobs. I cannot understand how 
men in responsible positions can be anything but utterly 
unqualified in character for executive duty and repeat their 
errors in that way. The net result is that we no longer 
tolerate such mistakes more than once." 

Inattention to warnings and obvious signs that we are 
courting the danger of repeating our mistakes is some- 
times incurable, as that business executive found out. His 
executive field men found out that no one can afford to 
be incurable. My own experience is that inattention, or 
failure to register, is one of the greatest drawbacks to 
executive efficiency. Inattention saddles the wrong nag, 
puts the wrong address on the right envelope, the right 
paragraph in the wrong letter, and carries the message 
nowhere. Some people have a regular tunnel right through 
their heads. You can call their attention to something at 9 
a.m. and 3 p.m. you will find them ignoring everything 
you've said. They do not register recommendations and 
do not remember rebukes. They tend to lapse into "lapsus." 
Like the brass hat who tends to feel the job will make him 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 8 1 

—rigidity of thinking and inattention is the sign of for- 
getters, slips, fumbles, errors, and blunderers. 

A large eastern bank advertised its unclaimed accounts 
in a series of recent newspaper ads. Under the heading of 
"Official Checks"— the name printed being that of the 
payee— there was listed Collector of Internal Revenue, 
address unknown/ Who made up that list? Who checked 
it? Who O.K.'d it? Who made up the advertising layout 
and copy? Who checked it? Who O.K.'d it? There must 
have been some executives along the line. 

Arthur S. Fleming, retiring United States Civil Service 
Commissioner, called for a more rigid investigation of 
government personnel to prevent "mistakes." He attacked 
what he called, "two-by-four bureaucratic bosses" in gov- 
ernment agencies and said, "Mental ability alone does not 
qualify a person for public office." 

I know lots of honor students who will never hold more 
than mediocre jobs in life simply because they have not 
learned to make use of their knowledge, or to take advan- 
tage of their own brilliance. 

"The trouble with a majority of luke warm executives," 
a bank vice-president said to me, "is that they realize their 
mistakes but do not realize on them. Most of their errors 
are not due to lack of education, but are largely due to not 
thinking ahead. Many executives, in my opinion, are more 
ambitious or worried about their own security, than they 
are thoughtful, or open minded, to progressive action." 

Staying out of grooves of repetitious mistakes carries its 
own rewards in the form of growing abilities to do so. 
Staying in, shows a lack of growth; even decadence. It is 
time for you to begin to think about your own mind— 
the source of all your actions and errors. Observe it, 
analyze your thoughts, decide what you want to do about 
it. The only fellow who would have any excuse for 



82 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

refusing the possibilities of this new horizon is the fellow 
with a limited brain. 

Progressive executives are men who cannot help trying 
to do whatever is required of them better than brass hats 
think is worth while. I'll let you untangle that one while 
you think this error repetition over again. 

Individual narrowness— a point you might have argued 
with me earlier in this book— is responsible for mental and 
behavior rigidity. The suggestions given can polish up a 
few of your facets and give you a new brilliance where 
you may need it most. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What are the essential differences between a brass 
hat and a progressive executive?" 

Harry R. White, Executive Secretary, Sales Executive's 
Club of New York, states: "In most cases, isn't it a man's 
capacity for appreciation which stamps him either a brass 
hat or a progressive executive? Look under the brass hat 
and you will find a man gives no credit for his business 
success to those who have helped him reach the top. He 
probably considers himself a self-made man. He likely 
resents anyone else sharing the spotlight. He is inclined to 
grind down his associates and subordinates to make his own 
pedestal higher and thus stifling initiative in others. His 
attitudes seep like a virus through an organization. It is one 
of the commonest causes not only of bad employee-rela- 
tions but also of bad public relations. Brass-hatitis is not 
incurable. But it usually takes a big jolt to effect the cure. 
One of the best-loved presidents of a New York firm was 
an insufferable egotist ten years ago. He was an executive 
at the time. His president thought enough of his other 
abilities to try to reform him. He issued him an ultimatum 



THE DANGER OF REPEATING ERRORS 83 

—reform or quit. So our egotist traded in his brass hat for 
a felt one and found it a pleasant change. People began to 
like to do things for him. He showed his appreciation at 
every opportunity. He soon became vice-president, then 
president when his old boss retired. That is only one of the 
many incidents in my experience which indicate that the 
principal brass hat deficiency is a lack of appreciation— 
whether it is for new ideas, ordinary human rights, or 
progress vs. stagnation." 

Frederick B. Heitkamp, Vice-President, American Type 
Founders, Incorporated, states: "It may be difficult to 
classify a brass hat, but I know many who have risen to a 
position of leadership through hard work, initiative, and 
intelligence, but who have been softened by success and 
for one reason or another have let down on their oars. I 
think we have too many of these in industry today. Age 
does not make the brass hat. It is indifference, self-satisfac- 
tion—both physically and mentally. It seems to me that an 
awakening on the part of many brass hats is an urgent 
need. Maturity and experience have valuable contributions 
to make but brass hats have to get back into the harness of 
more aggressive leadership and co-operation. Younger 
executives can supply that creativeness, that initiative, that 
hard work, but they lack the mature experience of the 
older executives. Let's see brass hats turn more progressive. 
It may take a little work but it is vital to our way of life." 



CHAPTER 7 
Open Your Mind to New Ideas 



Typical of the average brass hat is the attitude that his 
job makes him. If we look a bit deeper, we can frequently 
see that this attitude is really one of protective mimicry. 
A technical definition of that term might be stated in this 
manner: "... the assumption by a living organism of cer- 
tain characteristics designed to conceal it from its enemies 
by making it appear like something else, or like the en- 
vironment in which it is habitually found." 

As with animals— so with man. Only in the animal 
world, protective mimicry serves a very useful purpose. 
In our human world it is foolish to believe that protective 
mimicry is an effective means of self -protection in a job. 
Yet, many men engage in it, insisting on strict adherence 
to routine, policy, methods, and anything which is familiar, 
or to which they are comfortably and safely accustomed. 

"Imagination and new ideas are the blue prints of enter- 
prise," a trade-paper publisher told me. "Industry without 
imagination or idea participation will eliminate a healthy 
business or an active executive as rust will ruin a robot." 

Most executives realize this point. Then why do some 
hold themselves aloof from new ideas? Fear, cautiousness, 
and egotism, are probably the causes for their rationaliza- 
tions—and yet we know, every individual problem can be 
solved, every individual situation can be improved. Only 
by keeping one's mind open to new ideas, new avenues of 

8 4 



OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW IDEAS ©5 

investigation, and by cultivating this attitude as a habit, 
can we ever gain the experience necessary to prove those 
ideas or investigations as desirable or undesirable. 

Education without labor is lost. Industry is unkind to 
those who think but little. Thinking takes us out of the 
employee and clerkship class into management circles. The 
product of all our efforts is thinking. Any man can think 
of what he is thinking, but it takes a smart man to be able 
to dig down deeply into his mind and find out why he is 
thinking what it is he thinks about. 

Before we can determine whether you keep an open 
mind, or a closed mind, to new and different ideas, we 
must consider the aspects of the individual's personality 
patterns, for these have a great bearing on how difficult or 
how easy it may be for him to develop an open mind. 

An executive came to see me because of recent reverses 
in his employment. He had lost out on several promotions 
which he felt were due him. It turned out that he was a 
man with a wounded ego; in fact, he paid constant atten- 
tion to it. It was sensitive and had to be favored to the 
exclusion of all other things. He was overly sensitive to 
slights and criticisms, and could not admit to mistakes or 
to his own delinquencies. He carefully shifted blame onto 
others, and his animosity and resentments were easily 
aroused. 

In our talks I explained to him that his ailing ego could, 
and did, make him deny facts, new ideas, suggestions, in 
favor of self-interest and narrow prejudices, just as a 
bruised leg would make a man stop work and seek some 
form of relief from the pain. 

Basically this man was an introvert. But personality is a 
force which undergoes continual change. There was no in- 
dication that he was regressing, but in fact that he was 
rounding out in increasing freedom from type restrictions. 



86 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

He was approaching a stage of ambivalence. His extreme 
sensitivities were hold-over emotional objections against 
letting down the wall of reserve so he could respond more 
freely to other people, to their suggestions, and even to 
their criticisms. Under direction, in a period of several 
months, he gained an extensive interest in things outside 
himself, and a breadth of view which supplemented, not 
supplanted, his intensity and depth of feeling. He soon 
overcame his distrust of things outside himself. He accom- 
plished the feat of getting outside of himself— and this is 
something truly remarkable for an introvert. 

The extrovert, of course, is normally concerned with 
things outside himself and has a much easier time of it, as 
far as communicating with people, with ideas, with sug- 
gestions, and with criticisms. But there are selfish extro- 
verts. The selfish extrovert does not seek out other people 
in an unselfish way— he thinks only of what he can get 
them to do for him, whether it is to do his thinking, his 
bidding, his work, or to take the blame for his errors. 

In order to avoid a complex discussion of personality 
types, and to analyze the reader as to type, I might say 
here that you undoubtedly have some idea as to whether 
you are introverted or extroverted. If you don't know, 
there are plenty of good books on the subject. However, 
assuming that you are aware of your type, then you might 
keep these things in mind: 

Introverts: You are inclined to be alienated from the 
outside world. You are likely to concentrate your at- 
tentions within your subjective domain, with the con- 
sequent danger of losing your understanding of your 
relationships to things outside yourself. Original in 
idea production, but you tend to lose idea-improve- 
ment values in your mental seclusion. 
Extroverts: You tend to lose your realization of the 



OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW IDEAS 87 

inner parts of your experiences. Your efforts at com- 
munication with external things, people, affairs, tend 
to cut you off from the evaluation of experience as 
might be advanced by your own mind. This makes 
for loose concentration and a tendency to jump from 
subject to subject without sufficient consideration. 
Whereas the introvert should seek to develop by drop- 
ping his walls of reserve and concentrating a bit more on 
the relationship of the outer world to his inner world, the 
extrovert needs to develop depth in addition to his breadth 
—to concentrate on fewer and more intense interests, fewer 
and more concentrated personal relations— so he can get 
off the speeding treadmill and catch his wind in inner 
contemplation more frequently. 

Assuming, as an executive, that you have partially— or 
even wholly— developed (psychologically) an adequately 
adjusted personality, then, let us see whether you are 
taking full advantage of your real possibilities or if some 
hold-over habit patterns are still interfering with your 
thought processes: 

a. Do you strive not to manufacture excuses designed 
to help you avoid treading new and untried paths, or 
to avoid new responsibilities? Some men, for example, 
belittle the things, situations, circumstances, they fear 
as "unworthy of their time and efforts." 

b. Do you avoid over-preoccupation with yourself? 
Concentration on, or fascination with, one's troubles, 
real or imagined abuses at the hands of others, ex- 
cludes practical attitudes of receptivity to outside 
ideas and experiences. 

c. Do you welcome new experiences even if they tend 
to shake your own convictions of your personal 
abilities and knowledge? Many men "freeze" out 
every possible challenge or suggestion which may 



88 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

remind them of their own shortcomings, lack of 
ability, or lack of special knowledge, rather than ac- 
cept these signs as guideposts to greater development 
along required lines. 

d. Do you manage to inhibit feelings of resentment or 
resistance to outside suggestion or advice? Many men 
interpret suggestion and advice, no matter how good 
it may be, as a type of unkind and undesirable criti- 
cism of their abilities to think for themselves. 

e. Can you control your ego in order to avoid open 
obstinacy and other stubborn attitudes toward situa- 
tions which call for open admission of previous errors 
of commission or omission? 

The last item doesn't require any explanation, and we 
can sum up all those items in what a corporation president 
told me about faults in executives: "The worst fault I have 
to find with any executive," he said, "is the stamina and 
endurance which some of them exhibit against the en- 
croachment of new ideas into their complacent, static, 
comfortable thinking processes. This is frequently so 
absolute in its nature as to strike the observer as being 
downright stupid." 

It seems sensible then, that if you and I can control the 
thoughts within our minds, keep our emotions under con- 
trol so they do not wrongly condition our thinking, we 
will rarely be harmed or licked by circumstances and situa- 
tions which go on outside us. 

Concerning this, Arthur H. Motley, President of Parade 
Publication, Inc., wrote to me and stated, "An executive 
who has overconcentrated on himself, who feels superior 
because of his office, or who holds himself aloof from 
opinions, suggestions, and ideas, which he feels have not 
been originated in his own mind, will learn that as he alters 
his thoughts towards things, and towards people, then 



OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW IDEAS 89 

things and people will respond differently and more ac- 
ceptably towards him. The man who learns this is usually 
astonished at how rapidly and how favorably the material 
conditions of his life improve." 

I should like to outline for you several major stumbling 
blocks which the progressive executive manages to avoid 
in order to keep an open mind to everything which may 
aid him in doing a better than average job. Such sugges- 
tions as I may throw in for overcoming these hindrances 
are, I assure you, not meant to insult your intelligence but 
simply to provide starting points from which you can 
carry on your own analysis of your personal situation with 
regard to these circumstances. 

1. Boredom. For the third or fourth time I must state 
that many executives are suffering from boredom in their 
jobs. Call it unconscious dislike for established routines, 
or the day-to-day requirements which pile up and demand 
immediate attention until you seek refuge in such excuses as 
fatigue, fault finding with subordinates on whom you 
would like to place the burden of tasks you have to handle 
yourself, etc. Let's face it— interest in your work is the best 
evidence in the world of your worth to the organization. 
When time and thoughts hang heavy, when you can see 
no chance for deviation to better methods, it is your duty 
to get interested or get out. I have seen many executives 
flit away time to the point where no justifiable reason 
existed for them to expect continued success. For such 
men, opportunities begin to lessen because they fail to see 
those which exist in their daily jobs. Their abilities are 
discounted by sharp observers. Even their ambitions tend 
to grow less and less. They become overanxious about 
their situation, suffer from unconscious worries about their 
anxieties, and become so self-centered that they wind up 
doing nothing. There is a practical rule you can apply to 



90 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

overcome any state of boredom or disinterest in your 
work. When this situation, this conflict between your will 
and your desires is recognized, you should force yourself 
to find new incentives with your imagination itself. For 
example, after starting a piece of work, if it seems to bog 
down in a mass of tedious details which promote im- 
patience, feelings of distinct dislike, or boredom, and you 
find yourself desirous of changing over to some more 
pleasurable activity, go back over the motives or necessities 
which caused you to undertake this piece of work in the 
first place. Revisualize the end results, the long-range 
planning, the anticipated effects from the completion of 
this job, and thus enlist your imagination in the fight to 
open your mind to continual progress. Imagination, brother 
to initiative, is a word a mile long. It is the energy or 
attitude that tends to open and develop new fields. Or- ! 
ganize, inaugurate, conceive, undertake, launch something. 
If a honeybee should stop to become bored with the 
thousands of dry and honeyless bushes and dead branches 
that get in his way on every flight from the hive, what a 
time he would have in succeeding in his purpose. 

Dean Carpenter, Vice-President and General Manager 
of the Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, seems to have the 
right approach. Even though his business is a bit different 
from most, the techniques might be applied to any job. He 
told me, "A large hotel contains all of the equipment and 
requires all of the operations necessary to run a small city. 
It represents many businesses, all housed under one roof. 
As general manager of the Roosevelt, I must deal with all 
of these various operations which keep my interests varied. 
However, / make it a point to learn more about the dif- 
ferent industries represented in the hotel than I actually 
need to know. By doing this, I can 'lose myself at the 
reservation desk one minute, in the kitchen the next, then 



OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW IDEAS 9 1 

the engine room, the laundry, and so on. If I see a pho- 
tographer about to take a picture, I ask him what the latest 
improvement is in lighting. I don't have to know, but it is 
mentally stimulating to find out. As a further guarantee 
against getting into a rut, I make it a habit to play golf, 
ride, or hunt on week-ends and holidays. While indulging 
in these sports and hobbies I can't even think about my 
work— which makes my thinking better when I return to 
it." 

There are many executives who know their own phase 
of a business pretty well but would find it difficult to sub- 
stitute for another executive in another department. None- 
theless, adopting a program such as Dean Carpenter's in 
your own business would provide an eventual scope of 
knowledge which would require recognition from top- 
level management, or if you are already a top-level execu- 
tive, give you a more up-to-the-minute picture of the or- 
ganization you control. 

2. Inability or Dislike -for Using People. Asking for 
help from others, seeking advice, or suggestion, is certainly 
no sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign of ad- 
vanced intelligence, but the way some executives shy 
away from it one would believe they risk their very lives 
by asking a question which might reveal some lack of 
knowledge. This is especially true in circumstances where 
an executive declines to ask help from men who held his 
job before him— men who may have come up against 
similar problems and could be of the greatest aid. I cannot 
too strongly emphasize that absolutely original thinking 
is impossible since thinking is the conscious association of 
two or more perceptions. The individual's originality is 
strictly limited by the perceptions of his lifetime. If two 
people have led identical lives (a practical impossibility) 
and have identical heredity (without mutation) they could 



92 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

have identical response and could "create" identical 
original thoughts. In practice we do not have such situa- 
tions. No two people have identical experiences and so the 
combination of existing perceptions is almost infinite. The 
only thing an executive should keep in mind, when origi- 
nality is sought, is that it will be found more easily in 
people whose education, and environment, differs the most 
from their own, or from one another. With such facts in 
mind, can there be any reason other than individual mani- 
festations of ego, which would prevent an executive from 
enlisting the aid of superiors, associates, or subordinates? 

Eugene S. Thomas, General Manager of Television Sta- 
tion WOIC, is of the opinion, "Individuals tend to develop 
mental sets— particular paths of thinking— and they need 
outside opinions to jog them out of those grooves and 
patterns. Even people outside of your own business may 
be the answer to that new thought or fresh approach. 
Using other people, in the sense that you are smart enough 
to acknowledge that others have something you can draw 
upon, and not in the sense of manipulating other people, 
is another excellent method for keeping your mind open 
to new ideas." 

Only one caution or reminder— use but never steal. Your 
objectives are to obtain originality, new thoughts, new 
ideas— not the credit for origination. Your credit will come 
from better executive leadership. 

Need I add such reminders common to business in gen- 
eral as 14,300 suggestions received from employees at 
Westinghouse Electric Corporation during the first half of 
1948, and that the same company paid out up to that time 
one million dollars in employee bonuses for new ideas, 
new suggestions? Or that United Aircraft Corporation 
named a new turbo-jet engine the Turbo-Wasp as a result 
of a suggestion from an employee? You can pick up your 



OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW IDEAS 93 

favorite paper any day in the week and read such items in 
the business pages. Organization wise— or on an individual 
basis— two heads are better than one. 

3. Resentment and Disregard of Criticism. There is 
little need for me to outline the emotional, the egotistical 
actions behind this stumbling block to an open mind. As 
an executive you have many subordinates. "Don't think 
that it is only the underling, the employee, the beginner 
who can profit by criticism," writes Gelett Burgess in an 
article, "How To Take Criticism," published in the 
November 1946 issue of Your Life Magazine. "Many a 
manager could get a fresh viewpoint and valuable hints 
if he could receive unprejudiced and impersonal opinions 
from those below him." Mr. Burgess goes on to state, "If 
you are able to take it, not emotionally, but intellectually— 
that is, to reject and ignore it if unfair, but to accept it and 
I act upon it if just— then, no matter how humble your 
position in life, you are on the road to success." Criticism 
is like other medicine. Some of it is remedial, some of it is 
quack nostrum. And often the dose that is the worst eating 
does the most good. Perhaps Solomon put it all better in 
his Book of Proverbs. "Reprove not the scorner, lest he 
hate thee; rebuke a wise man and he will love thee." Un- 
doubtedly, one of the wiser methods of keeping an open 
mind is to readily accept criticisms in order to weigh their 
value— and to act on such advice if it seems desirable. A 
factory manager told me, "Funny, how some men react to 
good criticism. Let them get something in their eye, and 
they can't wait to get it out and remedy the situation. But 
let a bit of criticism hurt their feelings, and they'll nurse it 
for a couple of days or longer instead of removing or 
remedying the cause." Fear of being forced to change your 
view, or to accept a new view, which in turn would force 
you to change your thinking habits, is largely responsible 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



94 

for any "stand pat" arguments you may entertain. Get rid 
of that fear and you'll keep an open mind. 

4. Impatience and Reliance on Your Common Sense. 
Strange as it may seem, this subject is seldom an acceptable 
one, but I feel it is important enough to mention here. To 
talk of patience usually tries men's patience. About the 
only way a man can learn the wisdom of patience, is to let 
him butt his head against one situation after another, trying 
to force issues, until he finds out that the best way to get 
through these barriers of time is to wait until some aspects 
subside and make the going easier. I am not advocating 
that you develop unresisting acceptance of the situations 
you may face. On the contrary, patience is the absence of 
fear, much humility, and generosity of feeling. Real 
patience requires will power. Real patience invites outside 
suggestion and help. Check your impulses to be impatient 
They indicate resistance to outside aid. Some other 
stumbling blocks the progressive executive recognizes as 
things he must overcome and accomplish to do his best: 
work are very well taken by Thomas S. Sites, Assistant 
Vice-President, The Dime Savings Bank of Brooklyn. He 
contributes these thoughts: "Learn to maintain good public 
relations with management in his own organization and 
with those outside with whom he presently or in future 
may have dealings. Avoid losing sight of the woods because 
of the trees, through cluttering his desk and mind with 
relatively unimportant duties and problems which rob 1 
him of time and energy which could be spent on more 
important matters. Learn to develop personnel for highej 
duties and thereby build morale within his operation b}> 
fair, just, and equitable treatment. He must learn to keer. 
abreast of developments in his particular and allied fields 
and to keep himself currently informed as to all economic 
political, and social conditions which affect his wort 



OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW IDEAS 95 

directly or indirectly. Perhaps most important, he must 
overcome the tendency to try to do everything himself 
and learn how to delegate work and authority." 

Another indication of resistance to outside thinking is 
the individual's reliance on his own common sense. 
Common sense, as we consider it, is the "Philosophy of 
Yesterday." The best definition of common sense I have 
ever heard is that it is what the average person would think 
in given circumstances, if there were such a thing as an 
average person. As the average person would judge his 
problems or needs by standards of the past, common sense 
becomes equivalent to conservatism, moderation, personal 
safety and security, and may not always be the equivalent 
to good sense. Good sense frequently requires a novel or 
untried course of action. Common sense tends to reason 
in likenesses. Good sense must reason that what has been 
will never be exactly the same way again. An open mind 
cannot depend on individual common sense— it must be a 
product of good sense. 

"On looking back over my career, I can recall hundreds 
of things that would have speeded my success. The hardest 
thing for me to learn was to be aware of the knowledge 
and creative material outside of my own mind. I finally 
learned to make use of it. I wish my foresight had been 
as good as my hindsight." So said the Chairman of the 
Board of a major steel company in response to a question 
I asked on this matter. Let us keep in mind that the thought, 
"What is it?" and the thought, "Will it hurt me in any 
way?" are always fighting for eventual mastery over your 
actions. 

What is new will catch your attention if your mind is 

open to it. But the tendency is for that something "new" 

not to hold your attention unless it is in part familiar, or 

k| somehow touches on your experiences in life. This is a 



96 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

trick of the mind, and the emotions, to reject the un- 
familiar. On this subject, I asked for an opinion from 
Edgar A. Steele, Regional Director of the well-known 
research firm A. J. Wood and Company. He said, "Real 
leaders are never concerned with the pleasure of their 
feelings of the moment. They are in control— over people 
and ideas— and in a willingness to sacrifice all personal 
vanity in the final accomplishment of a good job— no 
matter who gets the credit. This is executive development 
on a reasonably high plane." 

In concluding this new horizon of personal development 
for the progressive executive, permit me to repeat that 
(a) there is no such thing as an "original" idea springing 
into your mind apart from previous experience and per- 
ception; (b) that the individual whose attitudes promote 
curiosity, and a willingness to assimilate outside percep- 
tions, and descriptions of such perceptions of other people, 
will have the greater power to be "original." It is generally 
accepted that intelligence consists precisely in that capacity 
to form new combinations; but that even the most intelli- 
gent are dependent on sensations, experiences, and com- 
munication with others, for the raw materials with which 
to speed their own progress. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What would you suggest as broadening remedies to 
overcome narrow specialization among the average 
type of executives?" 

William O'Neil, President and General Manager, The 
General Tire & Rubber Company, states: "This question 
is of great interest to all management today because with 
the rapidly expanding needs for supervisory personnel it 
becomes more necessary that all of the promising super- 






OPEN YOUR MIND TO NEW IDEAS 97 

vision in narrowly specialized fields become acquainted 
with these activities outside of their own sphere in order 
that they may be promoted to positions that open up in 
such fields. For that reason, I would say that any manage- 
ment executive who realizes he is too narrowly specialized 
should adopt a definite schedule for a broad study of 
company policy, sales, product, manufacturing, and ad- 
ministration for one week or more a month as individual 
conditions might apply. He should make an extensive 
study of the duties and responsibilities of management in 
relation to our economy, industrial, and business life, and 
the leadership management must furnish to save our 
American way of life. He should take an active part in 
civic and business organization activities, not only within 
his own organization, but in his community and nationally, 
if possible." 

H. D. Butler, Regional Director (N.Y.), International 
Correspondence Schools, states: "My suggestions to cor- 
rect this situation would be: 

1. That executives should join organizations other than 
strictly trade or business organizations which would 
give them an opportunity to broaden their viewpoint 
and to make contacts in fields outside of their 
specialty. 

2. That they might take up courses of a cultural nature 
and yet having some relation to their business. 

3. That they undertake studies in purely cultural fields, 
such as literature, languages, history, philosophy, as 
a means to a better understanding of group and in- 
dividual problems today." 



CHAPTER 8 

The Importance of Your Personal Relationships- 
Part 1 



KNOW YOUR MEN BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM 

Every executive is seriously concerned with the proper 
rapport between himself and the people under his direction. 
Every executive is at some time concerned with turnover 
of personnel and replacement problems. It is difficult 
enough to get along smoothly with the variety of human 
nature the average executive must handle. As a matter of 
good sense, it pays to know your men before you hire 
them, and thus make your job just that much easier when 
you work with them. 

Of course, this is not quite as easily managed in most 
cases as the procedure employed by the Hedgecock Arti- 
ficial Limb and Brace Company of Dallas, Texas. All the 
personnel employed there are handicapped persons, and 
the company attributes its success to this policy. They do 
not employ anyone who isn't minus a leg, and has met and 
mastered their own problem. Such people are held to be 
better equipped to do a better job of helping others. They 
turn out to be more interested in their work, and the com- 
pany feels that their employees have something in common 
with the customers. If all employment could be based on 
such visible evidence, things would indeed be easy for the 
average employer. But the hidden values which must be 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 99 

disclosed by careful searching present more complex 
problems. 

Brass hats, in most cases, continue to prefer the old 
methods of hiring associates and subordinates. The new- 
fangled scientific methods of selecting men do not appeal 
to them on the grounds that they do not understand those 
methods, have not made any effort to understand those 
methods, and in some cases have been near-victims of those 
methods. 

I have a case in mind. The head of a testing agency told 
me about a prospective client who ordered a sample series 
of test-batteries. These were numbered and were to be ad- 
ministered by the client to job applicants, to some of his 
employees, and perhaps to some of the officials, the testing 
agency not knowing which test-battery was filled in by 
whom. Unfortunately, the official who started the inquiry, 
also filled in a test-battery and his report from the testing 
agency showed that he was unqualified to hold his position. 
That ended the entire connection. A progressive executive 
would have taken the revealing suggestions given in the 
report and made some attempts to correct his situation, 
or he would have called in the testing agency's consultants 
to talk the matter over. Many executives, doing a good job 
for their firms, would never have been hired on the results 
of modern testing methods. Many sales managers, doing 
a creditable job today, would not be hired as salesmen or 
sales managers if put to the test for another job. 

Many of those executives, however, hire on the basis of 
test results without an awareness of these facts and their 
possible implications. I hope this material, as presented in 
this chapter, will bring about an awareness of this situa- 
tion. Much as the incident of the girl swimmer who 
climbed out of the pool one sunny afternoon. A man 
standing near her, clothed in a dressing robe, gasped along 



IOO BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

with other spectators, and pointed with shaking finger. 
She looked down and discovered that she had left her 
pants on the bottom of the pool. Grabbing the man's 
dressing robe from his shoulders to cover herself, they 
both fainted on the spot. He didn't have anything on under 
his robe! 

It would take a five-foot bookshelf of the latest texts to 
cover a fairly complete range of the psychology of proper 
hiring methods. I would ask you to bear with my efforts 
at condensing so important and broad a subject, and my 
concentration only on the aspects of individual variances 
as they relate to proper employment and interviewing 
processes. It will interest the reader to note that I presented 
much of this material to a group of top executives in 
clinic sessions sponsored by the Sales Executive's Club of 
New York. Favorable comment of acceptance of this 
material was voiced by (this does not constitute an en- 
dorsement by firms or individuals) every member of the 
group which included, Joseph A. Adamsen, Vice-Presi- 
dent, General Baking Co.; J. Sidney Johnson, Merchandis- 
ing Manager, National Biscuit Co.; H. B. Idleman, Director 
of Sales Training, Dun & Bradstreet; Robert R. Hoffman, 
Sales Manager, Revlon Products Corp.; Ray Serf ass, Dis- 
trict Sales Manager, York Corp.; C. Field Griff en, Vice- 
President, Automatic Canteen Corp.; Peter R. Fullam, 
N.Y. Sales Manager, Carolina Absorbent Cotton Co.; C. 
F. Hatmaker, retired Vice-President, Pan American Pe- 
troleum Corp.; Dr. A. P. Sperling, head of The Aptitude 
Testing Institute, and fifteen or twenty more. These are 
progressive executives, and they were seeking better 
methods for knowing their men before they hire them. 

We may begin then with the simple premise that never, 
in spite of a coincidence of identical test results on two 
people, can it be assumed that they are identical people. 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS IOI 

If a volume of engrammes were written about superior 
executives who select their employees and subordinates 
with keen intuition, a deep knowledge of people, and an 
appreciation for the qualities of the individual and how he 
might fit the job, it would probably include many of my 
readers. In presenting this material, I give adequate weight 
to that thought; however, this book is written not to 
review our virtues but to reveal our more conspicuous 
faults and to offer suggestions for this new horizon of 
personal improvement. 

It is beyond my humble powers to suggest anything 
which might improve your intuition. It is with your knowl- 
edge of people, and your appreciation for the qualities of 
the individual, that I will concern myself— individual 
variances which can separate identical twins as far apart 
as a suite in the Waldorf and a bunk in a Bowery flop- 
house. 

The more specific the job, the easier becomes the task 
of setting up tests which do a good job of selecting the 
right people for that job. But the examination of tests used 
in determining the aptitudes, attitudes, and potentialities 
of individuals for such professions as teaching, law, nursing, 
or selling, will show that they are based on the knowledge 
of the right thing to do, but possess very meager means 
for determining if the applicant would, under normal cir- 
cumstances, do the right thing. Such tests become a matter 
of occupational performance. Some of the factors involved 
in all the criteria which might go into judging the ac- 
ceptability of an applicant may be specific, and specific 
tests can be used for those factors. They would only be 
part of the problem. 

The other need is to make a rather critical analysis of the 
job under consideration and then to list all the factors 
that might go into making an acceptable performance in 



102 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

that job. I have had ample proof of the importance of this 
latter requirement in talks with Morris Pickus, President of 
the Personnel Institute, Inc., and Dr. A. P. Sperling, 
Director of The Aptitude Testing Institute. Both these 
specialists in employee testing and selection have instituted 
such investigations as a part of the service they consider 
necessary in handling the personnel selection problems for 
their clients. 

But psychological testing in employment processes has 
been standardized— almost to the point of handling human 
values as we would a mechanical product. We can predict 
with some certainty mechanical performance and issue 
specification sheets on mechanical equipment. To accept 
test reports on human beings in the same manner as we 
would accept a mechanical specification sheet is not fair 
to the job applicant and not fair to the testing agency. I 
am willing to make one exception to this statement— that 
would be a report issued by a testing agency prepared not 
only from test results but from a complete understanding 
and consideration of the applicant's past history and ac- 
complishments. You will recall— many executives would 
not be hired today on the basis of test results alone. The 
only thing which would stand in their favor is what they 
have done with their lives to date. 

Testing agencies (with the only exception of educa- 
tional institutions conducting research free from economic 
pressures and free competition) must develop standardized 
procedures which will provide for accurate reporting but 
at the same time permit big business efficiency and suitable 
profit margins for economic survival. Time is the big factor 
with which they must deal. Reduction in the number of 
tests, reduction in the number of test items, reduction in 
the number of interviews or the complete elimination of 
any contact with the individual to be tested, simplification 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS IO3 

of scoring, and coded short-form reports or charts, are all 
devices for manufacturing valuable time to enable the 
handling of increased volume. This is good business prac- 
tice, and it should not be condemned, for it permits gen- 
erally accurate job-applicant reporting at prices that make 
it practical, and much less expensive, than for the em- 
ployer to maintain his own staff of experts. 

I am fully aware that I am inferring that these practices 
in some way reflect unfavorably on the validity of test 
reports from outside testing agencies. It is not my desire or 
intent to imply anything of the sort. I refer to these con- 
ditions to emphasize that employers, or those executives 
charged with the final responsibility for interviewing 
and/or hiring employees, do not have an appreciation for 
the ultimate welfare of the job-applicant, are not fair to 
the efforts of the testing agency, are likely to be unfair 
to themselves, if they refuse to hire— or do hire— on the 
basis of test results alone without regard for evaluating 
those results against the individual's occupational record, 
educational history, social background, family history, and 
other objective personal observations. 

It is little wonder, however, that confusion exists as to 
the value of testing processes. At an annual meeting on 
personnel measurement conducted jointly by the New 
York Chapter, Society for the Advancement of Man- 
agement, and the National Council on Training and Edu- 
cation in Industry, the personnel administration director of 
a large company stated: ". . . . you don't know anything 
about personnel measurement until five years after the 
process begins." 

At the same meeting, the same session, the same day, a 
nationally known figure in the department and retail store 
field stated: ". . . . many stores want a simple, quick, and 
easy test which spots, infallibly, outstanding salespeople 



104 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

comparable, not to the average, but to the best in their 
stores. This type of test, which they feel would not take 
more than probably ten minutes to administer and score 
would counteract all previous reservations stores may have 
had about testing." 

One of those men is out on a limb— or perhaps both. 
Certainly any of the recognized organizations, such as The 
Personnel Institute, Inc., with years of experience in the 
personnel administration field, having gathered much 
valuable information and experience, would neither insult 
the average businessman's intelligence by offering infallible 
personnel processes in ten-minute form, nor would they 
have to offer their services on the basis of five years of 
experimenting before achieving some definite objectives 
and results. We could stand less of confusing statements 
and a little more reality and practicality in examining our 
personnel problems. 

Except where testing agencies take the job-applicant's 
complete history into account (look over your application 
blanks and see just how outdated they may be) the re- 
sponsibility for discovering individual variances in pros- 
pective employees or associates lies entirely with the em- 
ployer. In reports based on test scores alone, there is little 
or no recognition of the fact that men and jobs are chang- 
ing in themselves and are elastic, yielding here and giving 
there to outside pressures. There is no acknowledgment 
of the fact that with exposure to a square hole, the human 
round peg tends to become squarish. There is no appre- 
ciation that the square hole takes on a certain roundness. 
There is little recognition given to the fact that a job 
exercises an influence on the employee and, conversely— 
but secondarily— that the employee exercises an influence 
on the job. In fact, a job is never the same job when filled 
by two people for the simple reason that each individual 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS IO5 

employee will stamp his own impression on it in the process 
of the job impressing him. 

In the hiring of -salesmen, for example, we are more 
frequently concerned with personality, stability, initiative 
coupled with aggressiveness, and— to the best of our abili- 
ties—a prognostication of the possible future performance, 
adaptability, and productivity of the people selected for 
these jobs. The thing many executives fail to realize is that 
tests do not directly measure future accomplishments. 
They make no such pretense unless misrepresented. Tests 
measure only present performance. 

Then, in so far as behavior, past and present, is known 
to be symptomatic of future potentialities, test results 
supply the means for estimating those potentialities. The 
estimate is necessarily in terms of probabilities only. Any 
positive prognostication later confirmed by performance is 
purely coincidental and cannot be claimed a measure of 
proof of the infallibility of pure scientific methods. No test 
has ever been devised to measure future performance. We 
must consider this fact. On the other hand, it would be 
unfair for me not to state that estimates based on tests 
are invariably a lot safer than the old rule-of-thumb 
methods of employee selection. 

Is there a way to strengthen the estimate of an indi- 
vidual's probable future accomplishments? I believe there 
is. But the value of these methods increases directly with 
the ability of the interviewer, the objectivity of the inter- 
viewing process, and the proper allotment of sufficient time 
for the suggested investigations to follow. 

Let us assume that you have tested an applicant and that 
he falls within the proper scoring requirements as to per- 
sonality, special interests, social consciousness, mental 
abilities desired, and a first review of his experience record 



106 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

is in accord with the qualifications you seek in the pros- 
pective employee. 

Average, or run of the mill, people may possess attractive 
personalities, physical appearance, and even extensive ex- 
perience. They do not always measure up to the job, fail- 
ing to earn their pay, and generally failing to live up to 
expectations. It is necessary to investigate the marginal 
growth of the applicant— something tests will not indicate. 
In other words, in his experience, family and social history, 
educational record, open to investigation which will reveal 
his vertical and horizontal past development— the sympto- 
matic evidence on which we may more soundly base his 
estimated capacity for growth and future development? 

The man you seek, for sake of illustration, may require 
an extroverted personality, gregarious attitudes, persistent 
and patient, dominant to a pleasant degree in face-to-face 
situations. Perhaps he should be a self-starter, initiate his 
own contacts, and have an ability for opening up new 
business channels. The test results may indicate these quali- 
ties. Does his occupational record indicate it? What has 
the man done with his experience? What has it done to 
him? Investigate the short-term employment periods but 
listen carefully to his explanations of them. They may re- 
veal him to be either a man of high standards, capable of 
frank admissions as to his own errors, capable of ob- 
jectively analyzing his own shortcomings; or such ques- 
tioning may reveal him to be a self -protecting egotist who 
would eventually be no more just to you in the future than 
he is now to those who offered him opportunities in the 
past. Further, review his social activities and hobbies. Do 
they indicate that his business personality may be extro- 
verted, gregarious, even aggressive, but that his social and 
recreational personality make him seek complete escape 
from people when away from the job? If so, he may be 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS IO7 

working under artificial pressures. Does his record indicate 
that he lapses into his social personality patterns on the 
job? On the other hand, his social and recreational life 
may verify test results by showing club and organization 
activities, gregarious social and recreational hobbies and 
activities, and reveal the individual's natural tendencies for 
self -promotion, career-promotion, and social development. 
Extended to your business and the job at hand— this is an 
asset. 

What of the applicant's growth in his business history? 
Has his income record been a series of peaks and depres- 
sions? Or does the record indicate an average steady ad- 
vance? A few valleys in a man's income record may be 
overlooked, depending on the circumstances. Did he leave 
past jobs because other opportunities offered wider hori- 
zons or was it just a case of the grass looking greener in the 
other backyard? Ask him to tell you what he thinks is the 
most valuable knowledge he has gained from his past ex- 
perience. Answers will be varied, but careful appraisal will 
reveal his over-all understanding of business, marketing, 
merchandising, selling, distribution, etc., measures of past 
development and indicators to future growth. 

It would be well to consider three more questions: 
4 'Did any of your employers treat you badly, unfairly, or 
make your employment unpleasant in any other manner? 
Who? How?" 

Here is an opportunity to learn whether a former em- 
ployer failed to keep his promises; whether the applicant 
is capable of understanding reasonable criticisms; whether 
the applicant is inclined toward radicalism, or too much 
self-pity, or is narrowly introspective, or incapable of 
reasonable co-operation. On the other hand, the applicant 
may show that he holds no grudges, is willing to let by- 



108 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

gones be by-gones, is willing to admit his own errors, and 
show other favorable behavior leanings. 

"In all frankness, please tell me about some of the 
criticisms which have been made to you personally about 
your work, or about how you handled yourself in pre- 
vious positions? When? Who? Under what circum- 
stances? " 

Replies to this question will frequently reveal an ap- 
plicant's ability to face unpleasant truths about his own 
shortcomings; to accept reasonable suggestions; to learn 
from or to follow advice from authority; to what degree 
he respects or resents authority. 

Finally: "For which employer did you do such work 
that they would re-employ you if they had a place for 
you? If not, why?" 

Replies to this line of questioning will frequently reveal 
an applicant's attitudes and personality differences with 
authority, immediate superiors, co-workers, and others. 
It will often serve as a quick check for reference investi- 
gation which might otherwise be glossed over with later 
regrets. 

I should like to interrupt the continuity of this subject 
to point out that I have frequently discussed this type of 
investigation into personal variables with management 
personnel. Just about at this stage of the discussions there 
is invariably an objection: "This will take too much time!" 
they say. "That is why we rely solely on our testing 
agency for reports (or on our own personnel department.) 
Why, we would have to have experienced psychologists 
to interview our applicants." 

Let me say here that many concerns consider this matter 
of personal variables so important that they spend a great 
deal of time and money training their supervisory per- 
sonnel in special clinics and through special consulting 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 109 

agencies, on the subject. The Policy Holder's Service 
Bureau of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company re- 
ports that many such clinics cover intensive courses on 
such subjects as: 

Most people have difficult problems. 

Our individual differences are important. 

We bring our individual differences to work with us. 

Our individual differences greatly affect our lives. 

How we try to adjust our difficulties. 

Methods we sometimes employ when blocked. 

You do not need experienced psychologists for the sug- 
gested interviewing and investigations. If your testing 
agency will handle this for you, that may solve your 
problem. But you do face the necessity for preliminary 
interview and final interview. Using a check list or some 
inventory similar to my own (The Miles Career Evalua- 
tion Inventory; Copyright 1947, Lester F. Miles) you can 
count the minutes and make every minute work for you. 
You can weigh the individual against the situation, the 
personnel of your company, the tools, and the personal 
qualifications needed. 

Many men are born with backgrounds which are im- 
pressive but which should include a polish of their own 
making. Analytical study may reveal that the man in 
question reached his elastic limit years ago. Others have 
the hard luck to inherit a thin and skimpy foundation and 
of necessity must build their own accomplishments upon 
it— before they can appear to be on a level with their 
fellows. You want to know these things. Ingenuity, fer- 
tility of insight, and richly informed good sense are what 
is required of the interviewer. Thirty minutes should suf- 
fice for the average executive to run through a guided 



HO BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

interview. No one can do justice to their own interests, or 
to the job applicant, in fifteen or twenty minutes. Com- 
petition with office interruptions and a deficiency in in- 
terviewing time add up to a loss for both the applicant 
and the employer. 

(The complete Miles Career Evaluation Inventory is 
included at the end of this chapter for the guidance of 
executives who wish to develop a similar guide for their 
interviewing processes.) 

To resume the continuity of our investigation, the next 
item in the applicant's history is the matter of education. 
Practically every job requires a certain degree of mental 
alertness. Even in the crudest type of labor the worker 
must use discrimination— selecting his tools and doing some 
planning in their application. Obviously, in more complex 
jobs the employee must be able to co-ordinate many 
problems into a final and satisfactory pattern. But fre- 
quently employers will make a serious error in judgment of 
an individual in the preliminary interview. The applicant 
is at a certain disadvantage, through no fault of his own, 
in that he is seeking the job. Under these circumstances 
even a top-ranking executive may appear to be ill at ease, 
shy, or even a bit slow or cautious and inclined to over- 
deliberate to protect his temporary advantages and possi- 
bilities with his future employer. 

As with his occupational history, in the applicant's edu- 
cational history we cannot ignore an objective perform- 
ance, nor ignore a lack of evidence that the individual has 
made attempts to improve himself, increase his knowledge, 
or to widen his horizons through study or special activities. 

There is, first of all, his basic formal education. This 
would include high school and college. Whether or not 
he specialized is of little importance— unless he is a pro- 
fessional. If he did, and it was along the lines of your 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS III 

business, that is an advantage. More important is to dis- 
cover whether the man left school ten or fifteen years 
back, with no visible record of any study during the inter- 
vening period of years. In that case I would ask, "What 
did you do in your previous jobs to keep up to date, or to 
improve your value to your employer?" That question 
should be applied to all employment periods in which 
you are interested. He may appear to be an eager beaver, 
his test results may show him to have the required I.Q. but 
does his record bear him out? 

If his educational record shows special courses of study, 
ask him whether any of these were taken to enable him 
to do a better job for some employer. When? To what 
extent does he feel it helped him? To what extent was he 
able to apply what he learned? 

Some men can accumulate degrees as honey attracts 
flies. A remarkable memory may come in handy in a 
vaudevile act, but wouldn't you rather have a man who 
can interpret his knowledge in actual application to his 
work? The reasons for investigating these possible differ- 
ences in apparently similar people are self-explanatory. 

And we must not overlook the minor matter of how his 
education was acquired. The school is of less importance 
than the initial desire for learning. I have known people 
in many walks of life who had their education crammed 
down their throats by doting parents or relatives. It didn't 
do them the slightest bit of good. They forgot it as soon 
as they were out of college or special schools. Five minutes 
or less with such questions as, "Did you like school?" "Did 
you find any special subjects of particular interest?" 
"What did you major in?" "Did you pay for any of your 
own education?" will quickly reveal whether or not his 
education should be accepted— as the record stands— over- 



I I 2 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

looked in the light of later achievements— or overlooked as 
completely inconsequential. 

The man may have acquired education through some 
experience not revealed in his educational history. Would 
you be inclined to write off lightly five or six years of 
managerial apprenticeship under some well-known and 
highly competent business executive in your field? There 
may be others of whom you do not know. No test can 
disclose such hidden developments in the individual, and 
yet, this information might, if carelessly overlooked, re- 
sult in hiring the wrong man and turning away a much 
more promising applicant. 

So much for experience and education. There is still the 
matter of his conduct in his personal affairs and his family 
and social activities. This is the breeding ground for many 
of the individual's worries, attitudes, anxieties, and other 
pressures which may have an adverse effect on his produc- 
tive capacity. 

A man will answer questions on a test in the light of 
what he usually does or what he usually avoids doing. 
Society demands that he act in certain ways, his friends 
demand it, the rule books demand it, the boss demands it, 
and so on without end. The man behaves this way or that 
way because it is expected of him— or so he believes. In his 
social life he is more his own master than anywhere else. 
Does he run it— or does it run him? If others run his life 
for him then it may be symptomatic of the future possi- 
bility of a passive attitude on the job. When he answers 
test questions in relation to things he usually does, or 
usually does not do, his answers are conditioned in large 
measure by such outside pressures and social influences. 

By examination of the applicant's personal and social 
background we can quickly form a general opinion— an 
over-all visualization of the individual's stability in his be- 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS II3 

havior patterns as reported by the testing agency or the 
personnel department where test batteries are used. 

Some firms lay great stress on hiring a man with a wife 
and family. They believe him to be more stable than the 
single man. Do not overlook the single man. Find out if 
he is going with anyone on a steady basis. Will it lead, or 
is he hoping it will lead, to marriage? This may, in the 
right association, prove as much a motive for ambitious 
drives and stability as family responsibilities. In fact, I 
usually ask the married applicant, "Does your home life 
ever interfere with your business life ... as matter of 
past record?" "If so, in what way? Can anything be done 
to rectify the situation?" 

The answers are surprising in their scope, especially 
when coming from executives or sales personnel. The most 
common complaint has been from wives who object to 
having their husbands travel. In cases where it can be 
arranged, limited travel or local activity has returned men 
from harassed non-productive employees into happy pro- 
ductive workers. In many cases willing and understanding 
wives make things easy for their husbands by adjusting 
themselves to the varied requirements of the job in which 
their husbands find themselves. I make a lot of this point, 
for love of family and home is indeed one of the greatest 
of all human emotions. Any external influence— even one so 
important in the maintenance of the home and family as 
a job— which introduces unfavorable circumstances and 
reactions into the individual's home life may seriously 
affect his behavior on the job. Badgered by his wife, or 
entertaining conscious fears that his work is fostering dis- 
agreement or dissention between himself and his loved 
ones, are signs that his personal and social life may be 
running him, and there is every likelihood that he may 
compensate with unfavorable behavior on the job. 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



II 4 

Any unbalanced history, such as may be described in 
the applicant's home life, being in debt to a serious degree 
without adequate explanation for the situation, etc., do 
not prognosticate satisfactory job conduct. 
. These are the influences which account for reasons why 
employees will fail miserably although conceded to have 
all the traits necessary to become productive employees. 
These are the influences, the absence of which frequently 
produces successful employees even though they do not 
test out for all the ideal qualifications desired for specific 
jobs. 

A man's economic pressures, for example, may be so 
great that in his overaggressiveness, his desperate strivings 
to advance and overcome this pressure, he may ruin a 
happy department, a branch, or a territory, in a relatively 
short period of time. 

No— you don't have to be a psychoanalyst to spot these 
possible variables in the individual. There isn't a reader of 
this book who cannot, with a properly designed guided 
interview for his business, use his experience in dealing 
with people as a safe guide for interpreting the sincerity, 
honesty, integrity of the individual being interviewed, as 
against the vagueness, evasiveness, or downright lying of 
others— even allowing for the usual uneasiness or self-con- 
sciousness present in the individual during an interview. 

My inventory asks, "What hobbies interest you?" Are 
these retiring, gregarious > self-promoting, unselfish hobbies? 

"How do you usually spend your days off from work?" 
Are these activities retiring, gregarious, or otherwise in- 
dicative of an objective or subjective mode of life? Is the 
applicant active in a church, clubs, fraternal organizations, 
community activities? Except for financial reasons what 
other excuse does he have for not joining into such 
activities? If he does claim membership— is his participation 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS II5 

on an active or an inactive basis? His answers will affect 
your judgment only in which direction you seek— objec- 
tivity or subjectivity. 

Sum up his whole personal and social background 
quickly from an over-all visualization of his mode of life 
away from business. Does the test report on his degree of 
dominance, co-operation, aggressiveness, mental alertness, 
objective or subjective personality prove itself? It should. 
If it does not— you must take the responsibility as to 
whether or not such undesirable indications in his personal 
life will manifest themselves in his business life; or whether 
desirable indications which refute poor test results make it 
a good gamble to hire this individual. 

After so thoroughly, dissecting the job-applicant, many 
authors and counselors leave a rope's end dangling in mid- 
air. This has nothing to do with individual variances but it 
is a vital part of the employer-applicant relationship and 
can help in establishing an atmosphere of greater confidence 
and freedom of expression. 

a. You want to know all about the applicant. Tell him 
everything you can about the history and policies 
of the company. 

b. Explain why the vacancy exists— whether only one 
former employee is being replaced, or a succession of 
several. If a succession of several men have quit be- 
cause "they couldn't get along with some individual 
or overcome certain requirements" then the current 
applicant will be a lot more stable if he knows what 
he faces. He may turn formidable obstacles into easy 
hurdles, failures into challenges, subsequent discour- 
agements into incidental inconveniences, for which 
to make allowances as just another part of the day's 
work. 

c. Many men have come to me considerably disgusted 



Il6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

with previous experiences of being tested for jobs. 
They wonder what is wrong with themselves— where 
they fail to meet requirements, when turned down. 
They usually resent the treatment and the firm where 
they got it. At little or no extra cost, it would be very 
easy to tell these men why they are being turned 
down and to suggest where they might direct their 
job-seeking energies with greater chances for success. 
Employers spend a great deal of time and energy to 
establish good will when faced with the necessity for 
dropping personnel from the payrolls. The good will 
engendered by this suggestion in handling turn-downs 
can be of even greater value. 

d. Be careful not to set up a mirror-like pattern of 
yourself in the man you seek. Too many employers 
set that pattern on a pedestal— often using self-quali- 
fications as an ideal, with the result that no applicant 
can begin to approach the base of the pedestal much 
less climb up on it and into the light of the employer's 
approving eye. Most people are quick to sense this 
situation. They feel licked right at the start. That 
sort of thing would make anyone feel inferior. 

e. I tell many clients that employers are more anxious 
to fill vacancies than they are to get the jobs. You 
know this to be true. A vacancy means double duties 
for someone else and a possible hot-spot or breeding 
ground for dissatisfactions as long as the condition 
lasts. So instead of treating the applicant as though 
you were doing him a favor just to give him a few 
minutes of your valuable time— consider him in the 
light of a possible solution to your own anxieties— 
and try to hold that thought throughout the entire 
interviewing processes. 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS II7 

In conclusion, when examining an applicant for symp- 
tomatic behavior past and present, to better judge his 
future potentials, attend carefully to his explanations, his 
reasons, for past job dissatisfactions— not only to judge him 
—but to judge your own organization. Check your own 
firm as this list unfolds; the most common attitudes and 
practices which promote job dissatisfactions and heavy 
turnover of personnel are: 

Buckpassing 

Playing favorites 

Failing to give credit where due 

Being ignorant of or failing to get facts 

Breaking promises 

Giving conflicting orders 

Nagging 

Failing to plan intelligently 

Uncompromising attitudes towards emergency devia- 
tions from prescribed rules and regulations to meet 
individual necessities. 

When judging the merits of your job-applicant it is 
important to have reflected on the shortcomings of your 
own organization as well as its possible advantages. The 
individual variables on both sides— the employer's and the 
applicant's— must dovetail in large measure before any 
prognostication as to mutual advantage may be estimated. 

This point was particularly amplified by Herbert Metz, 
District Manager for Graybar Electric Company, Inc., 
New York, who said during an interview, "When deciding 
on the possibilities of success with your company of a job 
applicant, it is important to consider some of the negative 
features of your business as well as the positive ones in 
their relation to the applicant. Very frequently the appli- 
cant, no matter how good he may be, just won't fit into 
your type of business either because of temperament or 



Il8 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

personal preferences. As a matter of fact, I find it important 
to point out to the applicant the minus as well as the plus 
features of our business so that he or she may have a 
complete picture of our company, the kind of business we 
do and its opportunities and limitations— before he or she 
makes a decision. We think this is very important." 

Proper understanding between yourself and subordi- 
nates, or associates, means putting your best foot forward 
in the most important phase of better personal relations— 
another new horizon suggesting further investigation and 
thought. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

u ln your opinion, what is the difference between a 
brass hat and a progressive executive?" 

John W. Darr, President, Institute of Public Relations, 
Incorporated, states: "The difference between the brass 
hat and the progressive executive is the difference between 
'do so and so' and L lefs do so and so.' In other words, the 
brass hat type represents the inherited prerogative of in- 
trenched power and domination. Whereas the 'let's do so 
and so' type represents the type of executive who will not 
order an employee to do something which he could not do 
himself." 

Jack Lacy, President, Lacy Sales Institute, states: "In my 
opinion the chief difference is that the brass hat tries to 
force the people under his supervision to respect him and 
follow out his wishes. That invariably brings on a conflict 
between the executive and the workers and usually the 
workers win. On the other hand, the progressive type of 
executive inspires people, gets them into a frame of mind 
in which they want to do as he wishes. He leads rather 
than attempts to drive. His workers want to see him pro- 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS I 1 9 

gress because they know they will progress along with 
him. Briefly, if an executive wears a brass hat, his workers 
will soon knock it off; if he doesn't, his workers take their 
hats off to him." 

Lawrence M. Hughes, Executive Editor, Advertising 
Age, states: "The essential differences are the adaptability 
of the progressive executive to change and his facility for 
recognizing trends in business as they develop. The brass 
hat is usually arrogant and complacent. My own experience 
has been that many a progressive executive may be arro- 
gant, but few are complacent." 

MILES CAREER EVALUATION INVENTORY 

[Copyright 1947— Lester F. Miles] 

Name: Date: 

Address: 

Telephone: Sex: Age: 



Instructions: This is not a test. This inventory is designed to 
grade the total of your combined personal assets in your 
social, educational, occupational, and personal past history. 
A correct appraisal depends upon the honesty and complete- 
ness of detail of your replies to the questions. Be as brief as 
you can without sacrificing accuracy or important details 
about yourself. 

Section 1 

1: From the first full-time regular job in which you were 
employed, to your present or last position, list each em- 
ployer and information as follows: 

a: Employer & address 



When employed When leaving 



120 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



Why you accepted the job 
Type of work you did 



Why discharged or resigned 



2: Which of the positions listed previously afforded you 
the most personal satisfaction from the viewpoint of being 
the most interesting? Why? 



e: 



3 : Did any of the employers listed treat you badly, unfairly, 
or make your employment unpleasant in any other man- 
ner? How? Who? 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 121 



For which of the employers listed did you do work of 
such quality that they would re-employ your services? 



5: Which of the employers would not re-employ you, to the 
best of your present knowledge? Why? 



This is a confidential report. In all frankness, please list 
some criticisms which have been made to you personally 
about your work, or about how you handle yourself. By 

whom? When? Under what circumstances? 



In your estimation, what is the most valuable experience 
you have gained from employment during the last two 
years? 



8: From a standpoint of personal preference, qualifications, 
and education, what type of work do you like to do best, 
second best, and third best? 



122 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



First choice: 

Second choice: : 

Third choice: 

9: What experience have you had as a foreman, junior execu- 
tive, or executive? How many people under your super- 
vision in each case? 



10: List the salary you received while employed by each em- 
ployer you named on page 1. To start? When discharged 
or resigned? 



Employer a: 
Employer b: 
Employer c: 
Employer d: 
Employer e: 



Section 2 

1: Grade School: 

High School: 

Year? Best Subjects? _ 



Graduated? 
Graduated? 



College: Graduated? 

If not a graduate, number of years attended? 

Courses? 



Post Graduate Work and degrees? 



Vocational or Special Trade School? 

Courses? 

Graduated? Date? 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 23 

Correspondence Schools? 



Courses? Graduated? 

Other education: 



Did you take any of the above courses while working, to 
enable you to do a better job, or to win advancement? 
Which courses? 



Where employed at time? 

To what extent do you feel it helped you? 



3: Did you earn the money and pay for any portion of the 
education reported in question 1? What portion did you 
pay for? 



How was the money earned? 



4: What did you do in your last job to keep up to date, or 
to improve your value to your employer? 



Section 3 

Are you aware that you have any personality weaknesses 
which may hold you back in business? 



2: a: Single persons: Are you going with someone now on a 

"steady" basis? Will it, or are you hoping it 

will, lead to marriage? Is your association 

with that person a happy one? 

b. Married persons: Is your present home life happy and 
satisfactory? Have you been married more 



124 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

than once? How many times? Do you 

have any children? Is your association with 

them a happy and satisfactory affair? Does 

your home life interfere with your business life— as a 
matter of past record? If so, in what way? 

Can anything be done to correct this situation? 



3: What would you say are your strongest and finest per- 
sonality and character assets? . 



4: Do you own your home? Rent? 

5: Are you in debt to a serious degree? 



6: Have you any physical weaknesses or disabilities which 
require special occupational consideration? Please give 
details: 



7: Check the following items under the proper classification 
for yourself: 

Seldom or Average or Frequently or 

Never Occasionally Excessively 

Smoke: 

Drink: 

Gamble: 

Narcotics: 



8: In grading your personal background, should special con- 
sideration be given to any information or circumstances 
which this section does not reveal to the examiner? Please 
give details: 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 25 

Section 4. 

1: In business, do you get along best with: 

Men: Women: Either: 



2: What hobbies interest you? List in order of activity: 
a: 



3: How do you usually spend your days off from work? 
(The individual's activities vary with the seasons. Give a 
general idea.) 



4: What type of publications have you read during the past 
two years? 

Novels , Non-fiction: Text: 

Newspapers: Tradepapers: 

5: Compared to most people, do you enjoy a lot of good 
friends on whom you can depend in an emergency? 



6: Are you active in any clubs or fraternal associations: 
a: 
b 
c 
d 

7: Are you active in a church of your religion, attend regu- 
larly, or more regularly than most people you know? 
Please give details: 



8: What is (was) your father's occupation? 



126 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

9: In previous places of employment did you mix socially 
with fellow employees or bosses after working hours? 
Please give details: 



10: During the past two years what kind of recreation would 
you say you enjoyed best and indulged in most fre- 
quently? 



CHAPTER 9 

The Importance of Your Personal Relationships- 
Part 2 



YOUR APPROACH TO SUBORDINATES 

To the employees and subordinates under your direc- 
tion, you are the company. Their attitudes towards the 
firm are invariably conditioned and governed by their re- 
actions to you— their superior. While this applies generally 
in all cases, it is of very great importance in the larger 
departmentalized organizations. 

Fowler McCormack, when speaking to a large meeting, 
stated that industry had neglected the human angle in its 
preoccupation with making money, inventiveness, and pro- 
duction, but that it is returning to the point where it recog- 
nizes that nothing is so important as human relations. 

Industry can only be defined as the policy-makers, the 
top-level management men, and the middle-management 
personnel. It takes a pretty good team of all those com- 
ponents—each doing their own human best— to establish 
the right kind of human relations. 

Although most executives are aware of their own needs 
for better personal relations, inadequate attention has been 
paid to programs for developing their abilities in this direc- 
tion. This, in the face of the obvious fact that human 
relations, or as I prefer to call it— personal relations— plays 

127 



128 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

a major part in every activity, every operation, and every 
executive accomplishment. 

We have but to refer to progressive organizations such 
as the Packard Motor Car Company of Detroit, where they 
show ten thousand employees just how company advertis- 
ing makes their jobs steadier— more secure. The exhibits, 
located strategically throughout their mile-long plant, fea- 
ture the latest proofs of magazine and newspaper adver- 
tising, with easy to understand interpretations of what it 
means to the public and the employees. When this infor- 
mation was released by the company, George T. Christo- 
pher, President and General Manager, stated: ". . . this 
is the latest example of a continuing company policy to 
interpret vital phases of our operations which some em- 
ployees have not understood. We believe that people 
always will come up with the right answers if given cor- 
rect and clear information." 

In the Dodge Automobile Company, Columbia Steel 
Company, and U.S. Steel Corporation— to mention only 
three recently in the news— they have approached employee 
loyalty and security by locating related groups, men and 
women with up to fifteen relatives working in the same 
company. Studebaker is famous for its father to son in- 
heritance of craftsmanship and loyalty of service, building 
good human relations not only with the public but serving 
to impress employees with the security of lengthy service 
with the company. There is no need to go to any great 
lengths to conjure up examples which crowd your trade 
press every day. 

Where turnover and absenteeism are only minor prob- 
lems, where sales quotas are usually met or surpassed, 
where production expectations are exceeded, where prod- 
uct quality is maintained at a high level, one can usually 
trace the result directly to executives who have a high 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 29 

degree of know-how in the matter of understanding and 
working with people. 

"Personal relations, as I see it," a management consultant 
wrote to me, "is an art. The art of dealing with employees, 
subordinates, and superiors, in such a way that they will 
have the desire to behave and conduct themselves as we 
hope they will. It deals largely with their attitudes and 
their personalities. Skill in personal relations can be de- 
veloped through a use of innate good sense. Executives 
have some degree of natural ability in that direction, and all 
executives but a very few should be able to improve their 
abilities in this field." 

Another executive whom I questioned on this subject is 
an instructor in business and sales courses in one of the 
colleges in New York City. He is also Administrative 
Assistant with the United States Aviation Underwriters, 
Inc. "We can go right back to our educational system in 
this matter of personal relations," said Mr. Armand J. 
Gariepy during our interview. "Many of our teachers, in- 
structors, and professors of our grammar schools, high 
schools, and colleges, fail miserably in the art of creating 
within their students an earnest desire to work and to learn 
and win their right to advancement. You would think that 
these learned people, supposedly well-trained in educa- 
tional psychology and the art of getting along with people, 
would be examples from whom we could learn. It is no 
wonder then that we encounter similar situations in busi- 
ness. I would like very much to help wipe out the same 
attitudes assumed by petty supervisors, and ribbon-clerk 
managers of departments, not to mention higher executives, 
who likewise fail miserably to teach, train, advise, inspire, 
praise, or lead their employees and subordinates to optimum 
effort. In many instances employee-executive relations is 
no improvement on serfdom. What right have such nar- 



130 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

row-minded brass hats in the guise of supervisors, managers, 
or executives, to so stifle, so definitely snuff out the hopes 
and inspirations of so many underlings? They would gain 
so much more by a discreet use of praise, kindly con- 
sideration, real democratic spirit, freedom of expression, 
and ordinary courtesy." 

Harry Simmons, Management Consultant, writes a 
column for Advertising & Selling Magazine called "Sales 
Angles," and in one of these he had this item: "Every man 
should hold three jobs at one and the same time; 1. The 
daily job he is paid for doing; 2. the job of preparing him- 
self to move up into the job ahead; and 3. the job of train- 
ing an understudy to take his place" 

It has always been my own opinion that 1 and 3 should 
come first— practically a combination performance— for 
they are an essential ingredient of preparing one's self for 
advancement. It does show again the advantages of han- 
dling subordinates in a manner both instructive and in- 
formative, as well as being in command. 

What employees and subordinates say behind your 
back is usually a measure of their true regard for you. Un- 
fortunately, not many of us are ever given the opportunity 
to find out unless we employ stool pigeons around the 
place. Sounds unpleasant, doesn't it? However, it is possible 
to avoid such extreme measures— the men employing them 
wouldn't be interested in this book anyway— in order to 
be fairly certain that you are accepted favorably by the 
greater number of the people who work under your super- 
vision. 

In a great many interviews with prominent businessmen, 
the quality of executive leadership, as they see it, resolves 
itself into rather distinct factors. Reginald S. Evans, Vice- 
President of General Screen Advertising, Inc., for instance, 
says about executive behavior: "In my experience, the two 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 3 1 

or three principal stumbling blocks the executive must 
overcome are to learn to like his work and welcome his 
responsibilities; to build up his co-workers; to be willing 
to face his men and let facts, not prejudices or favoritism, 
rule his decisions. It is a mistake to delegate responsibility 
and then retain all authority, for this is like putting on a 
leash those you depend on. It is a mistake to profess a 
personal interest in your staff, and then tolerate political 
situations and cliques, accepting biased results instead of 
digging for the facts before accepting results as final. The 
one best trait for demonstrating qualified leadership is the 
ability to instill confidence in one's subordinates and asso- 
ciates. It is the brass hats who inevitably make the errors 
because they are primarily engaged in end-gaining which 
blinds them to their larger responsibilities. All too many 
executives are desk men, regardless of the channels through 
which they became executives. Most desk men are tied 
down with detail which could be assigned to others 
through proper leadership and good personal relations. 
Most desk men see their business only from their desks 
and hence judge their business, and their people, as a whole, 
by that short view." 

It is very easy to overlook the matter of setting a good 
example for your subordinates— acting the leader and not 
just an order-issuing desk executive. Mayor William 
O'Dwyer of N. Y. City ran into just such a situation. He 
used to do most of his morning work in the mayor's man- 
sion. Undoubtedly he had given instructions to subordin- 
ates regarding working hours at the City Hall, or had taken 
for granted that the rules were being followed. At any rate, 
he arrived one morning at 9 o'clock to take up the business 
of settling a trucking strike. According to reports the 
place was practically empty because of the mayor's routine 
of working at home in the morning. Most of the employees 



132 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

came strolling in around 10 A.M. The report continued, 
"now when he arrives at the ghastly hour of 9, there are 
dozens of people on hand to greet him." There is, of 
course, nothing too serious in such a situation, but it can 
grow into costly proportions if not discovered in reason- 
ably short time and corrected. If you haven't got time 
clocks in your place of business— when did you last come 
in at the regulation hour set for your employees? 

I have assorted, checked, and graded, through reference 
works, and through personal interviews with people like 
Reginald Evans, the principal factors which enter qualifi- 
cation for executive leadership. Let's consider these items 
in a classification method: 

1. Personal Integrity. There are no degrees of honesty 
or integrity. The word itself has to do with fairness, 
loyalty, and dependability. "Fairness grows in importance 
and value in proportion as you give it," suggests Arthur J. 
Barlow, Executive Vice-President of the Kingsport Press, 
Inc. "The more you give the more you get. When an 
executive learns, or decides that it pays, to be open and 
honest with his subordinates, and practices it— he quickly 
discovers that there are lots of humans who are hungry to 
know him better, to serve him better, and on whom he can 
always depend." 

You have to gain a reputation for being dependable. 
People like to know they can depend on one another. 
Keeping a promise is obviously the right thing to do. It 
goes further than that. Respecting another's confidence is 
of even greater importance. Refusing to spread unfounded 
rumors, undeserved criticisms, and personal faults, is even 
more imperative. A subordinate or employee can overlook 
almost anything in a boss except a feeling that he or she 
can't trust him. 

2. Show a Sense of Purpose and Objective. Everyone has 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 33 

a need for a periodic check-up to consider where he is 
going, what he is trying to do, and how he is going to do 
it. 

"You get results through people," suggests George P. 
Johansen, Secretary-Treasurer of Advertising Distributors 
of America, Inc. "Let your subordinates know how they 
are getting along, figure out what it is you expect of them, 
and point out ways in which they might improve. Tell 
them in advance about any changes which will affect them 
personally or the work in which they are engaged. Tell 
them Why whenever you can. Give them a chance to 
participate in planning when possible." 

3. Cultivate Decisiveness. To establish greater confi- 
dence in subordinates of your ability, there is need for you 
to develop your judgment and decisiveness. Again we must 
stress the importance of the rule— get all the facts in every 
situation. This doesn't harm the degree of your own self- 
confidence either. 

4. Keep Ahead in Your Skills and Your Knowledge. 
You were given your post on the assumption that you 
knew more, had more skills, could handle the job better 
than some associate. Your subordinates like to be led by 
a man who knows more than they do about the work at 
hand. There are probably many aspects about the job 
which were unfamiliar to you when you first took over. 
How well acquainted have you become with them in the 
intervening period up to now? Brass hats are content to 
let "good old Joe"— the mainstay of the department— carry 
on as before. That's all right until Joe gets the notion that 
he should have been promoted and proceeds to balk, or 
lay down on the job, or turn out inferior work. How 
would you know? Knowing will keep the respect of subor- 
dinates no matter how they feel about you in other ways. 

5. Improve Your Ability to Instruct— Teach. Slow, or 



134 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

quick, to take hold and learn, instructing subordinates re- 
quires many varying degrees of patience. There are means 
for teaching the slow learner without embarrassing him 
before the brighter eager beavers. Go out of your way to 
praise, give credit, and to look for unusual or extra effort 
and performance— and then tell him what you have noticed 
while it is still today's news. Make certain he understands 
his part in the over-all job so he will retain his interest. 
Try to avoid any feeling in the subordinate that he is being 
pushed, or that you are discouraged, or disappointed in his 
progress. Cut your instruction "doses" down to size and 
ability to digest. Cram courses are all right as refreshers 
but have no place in the initial learning process unless 
under dire emergencies. One point that may stand you in 
good stead. When you can, teach or explain details to 
groups rather than to individuals. Dr. Nelson G. Hanawalt 
and Katherine F. Ruttiger, in studies made at the New 
Jersey College for Women, Rutgers University, discovered 
that the individual provides more details and more interest- 
ing description, makes more effort to clarify, and elaborates 
more on difficult ideas when talking to two or more people 
than when addressing only one person. If you will recall, 
you always seem to rattle through a story at a pretty fast 
clip when telling it to an audience of one, but you put 
in a lot of detail when your audience numbers several 
people. 

6. Be Friendly and Understanding. Be open-minded and 
patient, cordial and considerate, and make special efforts to 
know your subordinates personally. Be enthusiastic. Let 
yourself go on occasion with a slap on the back or hearty 
shake of the hand. Be more human. (The following pages 
will cover more detailed information on the traits which 
attract people to you.) 

7. Believe in Your Job and Your Company. If you be- 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 35 

lieve in your job, the work you are doing, your company 
and its policies, you can reasonably expect to pass on these 
confidences and develop the right spirit of co-operation in 
your subordinates. 

8. Be Co-operative and Use Your Good Sense. The pro- 
gressive executive knows how to co-operate with his sub- 
ordinates, his associates, and his superiors. He uses good 
sense in his ability to lead. He does not overestimate his 
own intelligence and seldom blinds himself to the good 
advice and sense he may draw upon from those who work 
under his direction— people who are often better qualified 
to give him vital information on which he can make wiser 
judgments and decisions. 

Thus we have classified what many highly placed execu- 
tives believe to be the cardinal points for good leadership. 
But we can break down other personal traits which are 
essential in a proper approach to subordinates, and those 
with whom we are closely associated. These traits are de- 
signed to attract people to you, to make them more willing 
to accept your leadership, and to give you their unselfish 
and unreserved co-operation: 

a. Give other people a frequent boost— evidence the 
fact that you do not nurse feelings of jealousy or 
inferiority over the successes of others. 

b. Be a willing lender— of advice or knowledge; but use 
a certain amount of caution for it gains no respect to 
be known as a "sucker." 

c. Always thank people promptly— \t is an easy expres- 
sion to use but it sure sounds sincere and appreciative 
to ears tuned for it. 

d. Put yourself out for others on occasion— appear glad 
to do it for it may make emergency calls on the extra 
time of your subordinates a lot easier to accomplish, 



136 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

and it wins a sense of obligation from the people who 
are employed to serve your orders. 

e. Cultivate patience and a good disposition— it may take 
practice but it is worth it. Impatience and anger make 
the individual as guilty as the one who promoted 
those feelings. Poor dispositions keep more good ideas 
away from your door than almost any other known 
cause. Who wants to face an unknown quantity in 
personality instability? You don't. Your subordinates 
don't. 

f . Be a good sport— everyone likes a man who can "laugh 
it off" and then forget it. In minor errors, infrac- 
tions of rules, or situations which might be embarrass- 
ing to yourself— don't make others feel guilty if it 
can be glossed over and drowned in better personal 
relations for the future. 

g. Be prompt— whether it is for an obligation, a promise, 
a favor, or a meeting— this is a virtue. Poor planners 
and slow thinkers seldom learn it. 

h. Tidiness is always pleasing— personally or in your 
work, or with your quarters. 

i. Respect your subordinate's right to his private life— 
just as the one in yours, the skeleton in his closet is 
something he'd rather keep there and forget. Prying 
employers can be annoying and somehow very 
damaging to one's ego. When pry we must, for self- 
protection or investigation prior to employment, 
make absolutely certain the information is confi- 
dentially maintained. 

j. Be moderate— -in the use of profanity, familiarity with 
subordinates, liquor, or habits which might promote 
disrespect rather than admiration. 

k. Develop a good listening ear— no matter how boring- 
it can't last forever— and it may be considered of first 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 37 

importance to the person who is talking. Your mouth 
is much more likely to cause you trouble than your 
ears. Listen attentively. Act interested. 
/. When you do talk, be diplomatic— in doesn't pay to 
be frank all the time, or to lay your cards on the 
table in an "or else" attitude. There are times when 
this can be an asset, but generally, tact and diplomacy 
will get you a lot further. Perhaps the other fellow 
will offer you the same courtesy in an embarrassing 
situation some time. 
m. Take advice gracefully— -for the person who cannot 
listen to suggestion or advice with a show of appre- 
ciation always makes a bad impression. You don't 
have to follow it, or if you do, a quiet, "Thanks for 
the tip," will go a lot further than, "Who asked you," 
or "Who's boss around here anyway!" 
n. Be a participant at times— roll up your sleeves at the 
inception of a new program, or a new job, and help 
your people get started. A man respects a boss who 
shows him he can sit by his side and do that job as 
well, if not better, than he can. He will believe him 
when the boss indicates that performance keeps a 
man on the job and promises advancement, but that 
no man is indispensible if he doesn't produce. Good 
personal relations and good leadership stem from 
earned respect, and winning behavoir traits. 
The average employee wants to see in his superior a man 
who is neither afraid of his own job, his own boss, or a 
tough assignment. He wants to see a man who is not fearful 
of those who work under him, or of his own honest errors. 
A man who will hold him (the employee) to account for 
his own errors, but will stand up for him if he is right. 
There is a story about the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball 
team that illustrates good team play between "executives" 



138 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

and "employees." It seems some of the players were being 
"hung up," as the expression goes, between third base and 
home. Some were sent home when they shouldn't have 
been. Some were held up at third base when they should 
have been sent in to score. Third-base coach Ray Blades 
got up during a meeting in the clubhouse one day and sug- 
gested changing places with the first-base coach for a while 
to see if that would straighten things out. It takes a good 
team man— a big man— to move over. The average brass hat 
would have bulged his neck and puffed up his chest and 
perhaps blamed the players for misunderstanding the signs. 
Not Ray Blades. He did what he considered best for the 
organization— whether he was at fault or not. It can be that 
way in business. Progressive executives cannot always 
change places with another man, but they can overcome 
problems without endangering their standing with subor- 
dinates and thus damaging team morale. 

The average employee wants a boss who is enthusiastic 
about the job, and who can help him to become enthusiastic 
over it. One who will recognize him as a person, an indi- 
vidual, regardless of the size of the organization. The 
average employee wants to be able to depend on his boss, 
to feel certain his boss understands him, to confide in his 
boss when he has made a foolish error or when he's done 
something he feels proud of— even of a personal nature. He 
wants to feel certain he can do these things knowing his 
boss will neither make a fool of him, show him up, or 
brush him off. 

The average employee wants indications that he is 
reasonably secure. It is the executive's duty to make sure 
that his subordinates know everything the firm offers to 
satisfy this desire— insurance, health programs, periodic 
raises, understanding of rules, interpretation of rules, 
stability of management, stability of financing. 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 39 

The average employee wants to feel that there is a full 
use made of his abilities— and so he becomes a promotion 
or placement problem for his boss. He should not be for- 
gotten, and should be assured that his abilities will be used, 
especially if he has been temporarily placed in work not 
completely suited to his background. 

The average employee wants to know about his chances 
for advancement and progress. Don't kid him. He requires 
occasional encouragement, and he is entitled to a feeling 
of importance. Unless he feels his job is important in the 
scheme of things, and knows where he fits into the or- 
ganization, he is working "blind" and cannot be expected 
to have anything but feelings of "smallness" and unim- 
portance—which may affect the quality of his output. 

The average employee likes to be assigned responsibili- 
ties, for to him such charges mean growth, and the con- 
fidence of his superiors; but do not delegate responsibility 
without permitting some degree of authority. 

The millennium has not yet arrived so, for some time to 
come, we may expect brass hats to continue to exhibit un- 
favorable types of behavior patterns such as: 

"See the personnel director about it— I haven't got time 

for such things." 
"Put it in writing. I'll consider it when I get a chance." 

(The chance never comes along.) 
Raise hell if the desk is grimy and dusty in your private 
office but never pay any attention to whether the 
desks in the general office are so covered with soot 
or dust that the boys are afraid to wear decent clothes 
to work. 
Insist on spotless washrooms for your own convenience 
but give no thought to the conditions in washrooms 
for subordinates. 



140 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

Bawl the daylights out of people in front of others to 
make an example of them. 

Make statements like, "What do you want, a medal? You 
get paid to work here." 

Fail to ask subordinates for their opinions. 

Fail to inform subordinates of their progress. 

Show deliberate and intentional favoritism. 

Develop a "look them in the eye" pose— not as a sign of 
honesty, purpose, or forthrightness but as an accom- 
plished conniver— and a ready smile to go with it— 
the kind Adolf Hitler had. 

In analyzing a dozen studies that examined salary as a 
cause for job unhappiness and unfavorable executive-em- 
ployee relations, it was found that money was of less 
importance than such items as personal advancement, con- 
genial associates, competent and understanding supervisory 
or executive leadership, and good working conditions. 

As the patterns of business and industry grow more 
complex, we require executives capable of administering 
much broader spheres of operations than has been the 
case in the past. And this need comes right in a period 
when technical advances are producing more specialists 
than executives qualified in a number of related or un- 
related fields. 

This point strikes home with the author. The late Loire 
Brophy, well-known employment counsellor, spotted my 
own combination of qualifications as a radio engineer and 
applied psychologist. Seemingly unrelated spheres, but they 
fit perfectly into the requirements of the job as second in 
command on a heavy electronics advertising account with 
a leading ad agency. My particular background is a matter 
of fortuitous circumstances. What we need today is 
planned training to cover related fields of business or in- 
dustrial operations. 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 141 

Back in 1943 The Consolidated Edison System Com- 
panies experimented with an executive development pro- 
gram. Under this plan experienced men of 40 to 50 years 
of age, specialists in their own fields and selected as good 
top-level management possibilities by their superiors, were 
put into a succession of jobs in foreign fields within the 
system and provided with a broad education in the mode 
of operations of departments which they previously knew 
only by name. Here was built a reservoir of men who were 
to control broad spheres of operations in the future. This 
plan is now a permanent institution and has been copied by 
other firms. I had better add here— the plan uses no lectures 
or classes. Training is on the basis, "here is the unfamiliar 
job, go to it, teach yourself to handle it." There might be 
more of such training for executives. 

Selecting and training subordinates for middle-level 
supervisory work is another important responsibility for 
the executive. I would be remiss to pass over this subject 
too lightly. 

Before advancement, our middle managers are usually 
the top salesmen, the best machine operators, the record 
breakers, and such men as have directed attention to them- 
selves by outstanding performances in their jobs. The im- 
portant fact we tend to overlook is that such men may not 
have the ability to direct, control, and motivate the man- 
power under their supervision. This is a far cry from 
previous performances. 

Efficient management requires particular attitudes, in- 
terests, and aptitudes, as well as a first-hand knowledge of 
the work to be done. The human materials for middle 
management are seldom selected with that in mind. They 
have, on the contrary, more frequently been selected from 
the wrong qualifications. Thus we have first-class salesmen 
who become first-class duds as district managers or local 



142 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

sales managers. Thus we have top machine tenders who 
become bottle-neck foremen. Thus we have jim-dandy 
bookkeepers who become jim-dandy flops as department 
heads. Thus we have efficient and productive workers who 
are advanced to management posts and expected to hold 
their own against carefully selected leaders and carefully 
trained manpower managers representing labor organiza- 
tions. Thus we see the results in almost every phase of 
business and industry. 

Training cannot produce good supervisory personnel un- 
less those selected for such training have the proper abili- 
ties. The primary job of such a man will be to supervise 
human beings— not routines, not machines, not regulations 
—and that supervision means planning, directing others, 
removing bottle-necks and other obstacles to production, 
sales, distribution, accounting, shipping, etc. It means pro- 
moting agreeable personnel conditions within the group 
and maintaining good relationships with associates on his 
own level, and with superiors, not to mention customers, 
suppliers, investors, or the general public. It means follow- 
ing through on special assignments and developing co-op- 
erative talents toward committee work, meetings, and staff 
liaison. He must be able to observe and analyze, to plan 
and develop his programs, to execute and check the work 
to see that it measures up to established performances, to 
evaluate conditions and report intelligently to his own 
superiors. 

Finally, we can only measure the man by the results he 
gets. These will depend entirely on how well he manages 
his own responsibilities and performs the functions out- 
lined above. All the more reason why, if you cannot do this 
job of training, or selection for training, that you investi- 
gate the services of a good personnel selection and/or train- 
ing agency. They will select the right middle management 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 43 

men on the basis of mental ability, personality, breadth of 
interests, ability to understand quickly, ability to handle 
the job intelligently, ability to get the most out of his 
group, and ability to check his work accurately. They will 
find out if he knows the general nature of his prospective 
position and its relation to the work of the organization 
as a whole, or if he has the capacity to familiarize himself 
with job requirements quickly. They will determine if he 
is adaptable, and not too individualistic. Whether he is 
mentally and emotionally sound, an objective and impartial 
thinker, and devoid of signs of nervousness and irritability. 

Personnel psychologists are of a divided opinion as to 
whether there is any proportional relationship between 
mental ability, vocabulary, interests, objectivity on the one 
hand, and quality or level of supervision on the other, 
provided the individual has a satisfactory minimum of each 
characteristic desired. This only serves to point up the 
importance of scientific selection methods when seeking 
your supervisory manpower. Your supervisors are critical 
factors in the operation of the plant or business under your 
control. They execute the personnel and management poli- 
cies and provide you with the reactions and needs of basic 
employees. They can make a good executive better— or 
break him with their own failures. 

The soundness of management and of the organization 
as a whole is in the hands of supervisory personnel. Con- 
tinued study and application of scientific methods in their 
selection and training are good sense. It will yield rich 
rewards. 

In an address before the Sales Managers' Bureau of the 
St. Louis Chamber of Commerce, Morris I. Pickus, Presi- 
dent of The Personnel Institute, Inc., stated, "Find the 
hidden manpower in personnel. We have been smart 
enough to use science in vastly strengthening our machine 



144 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

power. The next decade will not only be a testing time for 
free enterprise, but it will put management to the test. 
Hidden losses caused by misplaced manpower must be 
ferreted out . . . and this can be done through the appli- 
cation of sound, professional, practical human engineering." 

Another approach to closer management-personnel re- 
lations is the decentralization program carried out by 
Sylvania Electric Products, Inc. Don G. Mitchell, Presi- 
dent of the company, explains the plan thusly; 

"Democracy can go forward only when men and 
women are persons, not numbers. The dignity of the 
worker must be restored. Industrial decentralization is an 
important step in that direction. 

"Lest anyone gain the impression that decentralization is 
purely an effort to correct social problems that have 
arisen in industry let me assure you that it is very realistic 
and practical. Neither the company with which I am asso- 
ciated, nor any other manufacturer with a desire to be 
progressive, could afford to engage in decentralization un- 
less it proved itself economically. There are some opera- 
tions which would not justify decentralization, but even 
there it may be that feeder plants for certain parts and 
operations could provide some degree of decentralization. 

"I like to think of decentralization as a return of the 
'old man' to production. [By 'old man,' Don Mitchell 
means the old-time boss who may have been a martinet but 
to whom his employees were people— not numbers. The 
boss who knew every operation, could call everyone by 
name.] Each plant, in other words, should be of such a 
size that one man could know everything that is going on 
at each bench, know every machine operation and, equally 
important, know all the employees. Under these condi- 
tions, the plant manager is boss. He operates that plant and 
makes decisions, within, of course, the company's basic 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 45 

policies, as though it belonged to him. With such a pro- 
gram of decentralization, the broad policies will be worked 
out by and come under the control of top management 
after which the executive direction of the company will 
be more advisory and consultive than directive. Plant 
managers will be expected to make their own decisions and 
be responsible for results. There is little room for alibis 
where there is undivided authority. 

"When properly set up, the local manager becomes im- 
portant to himself, to his employees, and to the com- 
munity. When the newspaper reporter calls, the manager 
doesn't have to get a release from the central executive 
office. He is accepted by the Chamber of Commerce and 
the service clubs as the head of another business. He 
doesn't have to get permission to give to or to engage in 
Community Chest, Red Cross, or other local drives. 

"Practically every one of our numerous plant managers 
is an active member of Rotary, Kiwanis, or the Lions. 
They are taking leading parts in all local activities. Among 
our managers are bank directors, members of borough 
councils, and members of any number of civic committees 
and groups. 

"Such men in a large factory would have charge of but 
a section and would have but a fraction of the responsi- 
bility as well as the personal dignity and the standing 
within the community. They would not be the company 
to anybody. They would merely be supervisory employees. 

"Decentralization's first contribution to the Age of Man 
is the building of men at the management level." 

During my interviews with the heads of large business 
and industrial organizations I have many times run into 
tales that would make any man wonder at the stupidity of 
passing down responsibility without authority. The presi- 
dent of one firm told me of interviewing a production 



146 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

engineer for a job. The engineer explained that he applied 
for the job because he could offer ideas which would save 
the company thousands of dollars in costs every year. He 
proved his point, too. He had the know-how. When he 
was asked why he didn't do it in his current job as pro- 
duction manager in the plant of a competitor's firm, he 
replied, "I haven't the authority. If I did it on my own— 
I'd get fired!" 

A New York company with offices in Texas recently 
came into the news because of delegating responsibility 
without authority. Texas authorities wanted to examine the 
books of the branch office, a procedure which seems a 
regular thing in Texas. The company's new branch mana- 
ger had not been previously instructed on such possibilities 
and refused to let the state's vested authorities see his 
books. Instead, he said he would have to communicate 
with his home office first. The resulting unfavorable news- 
paper publicity in the state of Texas might have affected 
the company's business there for some time to come. The 
manager, on the other hand, might have used his own 
initiative to better advantage. Instead of writing, he could 
have used the telephone and settled the matter immediately. 
But it serves to indicate what responsibility without 
authority can lead to in many instances. 

That should cover a sufficient area of ideas for improve- 
ment in the realm of better leadership and a more ac- 
ceptable approach to your employees and subordinates. 
There is one sphere which I feel should receive special 
attention. That is the case of the obstinate person. In fact, 
most of us balk or show signs of stubbornness on occasion. 
With employees and subordinates we have to take into 
account the fact that they resent, or are unwilling to 
accept, change. The average employee faces a certain 
amount of unpleasant duties in the course of his day's 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 47 

work. He may like the major portion of it, but he quickly 
learns to handle the things he dislikes with almost auto- 
matic thought or motor patterns. After a bit he may in- 
dulge in the more pleasant pastime of daydreams while 
he is performing these tasks. Any change in routine, new 
methods, necessity for thinking, and the necessity for learn- 
ing new thought or habit patterns, are likely to be met 
with objection, obstinacy, stubbornness, and other symp- 
toms of resentment at disturbances in the employee's feel- 
ings of security or ease of mind. 

Authority should be a last resort. Even written instruc- 
tions can be made explanatory rather than mandatory. 
People like to do things their way whenever they can get 
away with it. Every employee is in some degree an original 
immovable object. Try to hurry him— he may slow down. 
Try to get him to change the slightest habit patterns- 
he will resist. He seems to be looking for what he con- 
siders interference. And he is ready for you when you 
come up with it. He is on the defensive about suggestions 
or advice. 

In extreme cases, this is what you will run up against. 
(It may have happened to you.) You have a good man. 
You keep him on, in spite of the fact that you feel he is 
"un-co-operative" a great deal of the time. He seems to 
resent anything you tell him. He never says anything which 
you could consider impertinent. He doesn't refuse to 
listen. In fact, he lets you do all the talking. He just 
acquires a sort of "poker face" which isn't a poker face at 
all. You are the one who likely feels flustered— a bit an- 
noyed, perhaps even angry. He is perfectly cool— an atti- 
tude of patience written all over him— patience in dealing 
with "excitable authority." You may even become more 
annoyed because you sense he knows you are annoyed— 
and he is cool. He makes you feel in the wrong. 



148 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

With employees or subordinates like that you can either 
take them as they are and put up with them, or get rid of 
them. But I have known many workers like that who are 
just too good on their jobs to drop just because we have 
difficulty in getting along with them. It can be done. It is 
not difficult. The only thing you have to know is how 
that sort of person gets that way. This is especially im- 
portant when dealing with associates or superiors of a 
similar temperament, with whom you must get along for 
your own good. 

At some time in his life, the negative, stubborn, obstinate 
individual was dominated to the point where he developed 
this rebellious streak in his nature. He most likely was 
forced to do a great many things he didn't want to do. He 
could accept this to a point, but then it passed his normal 
capacity for patience, and his attitudes were formed. 

You are likely to encounter this in many ex-service men 
who have returned from active duty to civilian jobs. After 
a period of act this way not that, do this not that, eat this 
or go hungry, come here at this time, go there at that time, 
wear your clothes this way not that way, and so on, he 
decides that if he ever has a chance to be his own inde- 
pendent self, try and stop him. Some people, of course, 
take to such regimentation. But we have to acknowledge 
that resentments towards any form of regimentation re- 
quire adept handling to win acceptance, or we should be 
unable to enforce any needed rules, systems, methods, or 
other procedures which we consider necessary for the good 
of the business. 

You can count on it, the obstinate people only act that 
way— and feel quite another way. They act as though they 
wanted to be independent of managerial restraints or sug- 
gestions because they fear the authority in back of it. 
They desire to demonstrate that they give in to edict only 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 49 

because management has the power to force them to do 
so. Actually, they are demanding that sort of management 
and you can't get along with them if you back down. And 
how do we accomplish this? 

a. Agree with their methods whenever it is practical to 
convince them that you are co-operating with them 
and not working against them or their best interests. 

b. In so far as possible, leave them alone. Try not to 
criticize trifling faults which might better be over- 
looked. It will save you a lot of time, too. Besides, 
the criticism is likely to be costly in the loss of good 
men for inconsequential reasons. 

c. When methods must be changed, orders issued, in- 
structions given, stop to consider how boring and 
colorless your own job would be if you didn't under- 
stand it, or if you felt you had no control over the 
results which you are able to produce excepting 
within the very narrowest of limits. It will be easier 
for you to add a good explanatory lead-up to the 
order, change, or required instructions with ioo per 
cent more chance of ready and willing acceptance. 

In your approach to your subordinates, you are very 
likely to be a better executive if you will follow three 
steps toward achieving a new level of personal relations. 
Your new horizons are: 

1. The removal of obvious inconsistencies and stupidi- 
ties which take on such large proportions for the 
average employee. 

2. More detailed explanations to employees as to the 
nature of their jobs and how they fit into the final 
results so they may acquire a pride of accomplish- 
ment in their duties. 

3. A greater freedom of expression and idea exchange 
for the general betterment of the business as a whole, 



i 5 o 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



fostered through a better executive understanding of 
dealing with the people under your charge. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What would you suggest for better executive- 
subordinate relations?'''' 

Ralph Donaldson, New York Employment Counsellor, 
states: "My experience has been that one set of rules may 
be applied in achieving a workable approach to one's 
subordinates or toward one's superiors. Here is what I 
would suggest: 

i. Sincerity. Sincerity towards one's subordinates wins 
respect and willingness. It transcends almost any 
other trait for effective human relations. Sincerity 
towards one's superiors— in honest effort to do a real 
job, carry out orders, be worthy of one's hire, pro- 
motes sensible job security and personal acceptability. 

2. Loyalty. To shoulder blame for honest subordinate 
errors; to stand up for subordinates' ideas and to pitch 
in when subordinates need supervisory morale build- 
ing or direct help— even when such work is on subor- 
dinate level— earns the same loyalty as given. It is 
reciprocal. The process reverses itself with superiors, 
but here one must extend more loyalty than received 
on occasion because of a tendency to criticize execu- 
tive actions which we do not fully understand. 

3. Instruction. Explain— as often as necessary. Provide 
adequate detailed information. Help subordinates 
understand their share in the over-all objectives. Make 
it interesting and take the pains to clarify— just as one 
would prefer to receive it from superiors. With 
superiors, be attentive, concentrate, and register. It. 
indicates reliability and intelligence. 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 151 

4. Appreciate. One wants appreciation from superiors- 
one should give it generously to subordinates. One 
wants it from subordinates, and one should give it— 
discreetly, tactfully— to superiors." 

"What is your opinion as to the prime differences 
between a brass hat and a progressive executive?" 

Stanley I. Clark, Vice-President, Sterling Drug, In- 
corporated, states: "It seems to me that there is an old 
Arabian proverb which can describe the prime difference 
between the brass hat and the executive: 

'He who knows not and knows not that he knows not; 

he is a fool 
He who knows not and knows that he knows not; he 

is a wise man' 
The brass hat assumes that because he has arrived at the 
executive level through a combination of fortuitous cir- 
cumstances, he can sit back and relax. But the progressive 
executive, who probably has achieved his success through 
conscientious effort and by profiting by experience, con- 
tinues the same process even though his associates may 
feel 'he has arrived.' True success does not necessarily 
imply specialization because the executive who is really 
a success is one who has knowledge of related, as well as 
of particular subjects, having to do with his job. In other 
words, while a successful executive may have a detailed 
knowledge of one particular subject, the chances are that 
he will have a broad knowledge of a large number of 
related subjects." 



CHAPTER 10 



The Importance of Your Personal Relationships- 
Part 3 



YOUR APPROACH TO YOUR SUPERIORS 

No matter on which rung of the ladder of success you 
happen to be resting at this time, you probably have 
formed and developed some personal philosophy for 
dealing with your superiors. Just as it is essential for you 
to be adept at personal relations with subordinates and 
associates in the proper execution of your duties, it is 
essential, for your future growth and progress, that your 
philosophy of a proper approach to your own superiors 
be as nearly acceptable to them as you can make it. 

We should be continually conscious of what other 
people think of us in their comments and reactions to us, 
and should indulge in some self-examination from time to 
time, but it is improbable that we ever know the real truth 
even once in a lifetime. Perhaps that is for the best. For 
while we may go poking about for a truthful picture of 
ourselves as others see us, the majority of us haven't yet 
learned to laugh at ourselves. Most of us have been too 
busy criticizing or laughing at others; and they at us— if 
we really want the facts. 

But you may be perfectly satisfied that you have the key 
to the right approach to your superiors, and may have 
already decided to skip this chapter, or gloss over it. 
Bishop Warburton wrote, "If you would please a great 

152 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS I53 

man, make him satisfied with you; if you would please a 
small man, make him satisfied with himself'' 

I am certainly not satisfied that I have all the right 
answers, or that I can give you all the right answers, to 
this very important part of your executive ability. What- 
ever I can offer you, is again written here only as a start- 
ing point for your own thinking, your consideration and 
study, and if it fits your requirements— for adoption and 
practice. 

"Is there such a thing as an organization entirely free 
from internal politics, or a rather rapid grapevine system 
of communications which conveys information from the 
lowliest employee right to top management?" I asked a 
management consultant of some 55 years experience. 

"Certainly not," he replied, "any more than the average 
home of three or more people is free from politics. Child 
and mother line up to influence Pop. Child and father 
line up to influence Mom. Pop and Mom line up to in- 
fluence child. I never ran into any group which didn't have 
its factions and where information, especially bad news, 
didn't travel at a high rate of speed to those meant to hear 
it." 

We are inclined to forget that. We are likely to overlook 
the importance of the political structure of our business 
connections and the effect it has on our relations with our 
superiors. But we cannot take it lightly if we are to succeed 
—to advance— to accomplish. Politics: sagacious planning 
and actions, wisely adapted to an end. But how wisely do 
we act, and how little do we plan? 

As an executive, you are still human enough to enjoy 
in some degree the power you have over others. Conflict 
arises when you switch your thoughts to the powers others 
wield over you. One of the mistakes many men make is in 
talking too much. This takes two forms— on the error side: 



*54 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



i. We become impatiently obsessed with the desire for 
advancement, to neutralize other people's power over 
us. The most common outlet for this impatience is 
to talk over our plans and projected ideas with anyone 
who will listen. It tends to bolster our ego. It is a 
good idea to control this urge by having your plans 
and ideas in outline or completed form before you 
tell the whole organization what you are intending to 
do. Invariably, if you have talked too much prior to 
gaining required approval on such plans or ideas 
which must have sanction from your superiors, then 
you are frequently going to be hard pressed to re- 
frain from my next item— criticism of your superiors. 
It is natural you should have the urge to criticize, if 
for no other reason than to protect your ego once 
again. This is a common occurrence, especially when 
approval is denied after you have talked the ideas or 
plans up to everyone in the place— and many have 
praised you in advance. 

Except where it is definitely understood that meet- 
ings and conferences are routine matters for your 
idea or plan, to formulate and develop for official 
approval, your superiors are very likely to entertain 
the idea that your talking around the shop is pur- 
poseful politics— the soliciting of support to force sub- 
sequent approval. And they are going to resent it, 
whether such resentment is justified or not. 

2. I have yet to sit at a luncheon table with a group 
of executives from the same office where serious or 1] 
facetious criticism of some superior did not sooner or 
later become a part of the conversation. While nine 
times out of ten no serious consequences may result, 
there is always the tenth time— and you may be it. F 
Criticism, in any form, is futile, particularly so when 



t 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 55 

directed at a superior. It will always be misunder- 
stood, unless the man is a mighty big individual. You 
cannot afford to take a chance on that. It doesn't 
change habits, methods, personalities, or circum- 
stances. When you feel a tendency to criticize you 
might ask yourself, why? 

a. Is it part of a persistent pattern you have established 
against that individual? 

b. Are you qualified to make such criticisms? 

c. Have previous criticisms of the same or similar situa- 
tions proved futile? 

d. Is your criticism in reality just a gripe? 

e. Is your criticism a result of irritation or personal dis- 
like for the individual? 

/. Is your criticism purely destructive— would serve no 
useful purpose? 

As you may note, your motive and approach are impor- 
tant. Even more practical would be to examine carefully 
the individuals to whom you are talking. Are they part 
of political factions in which the victim of your criticism 
maintains an important role? If your criticism should be 
justified, are you certain it will not be misunderstood "up- 
stairs"— knowing full well the grapevine will deliver your 
message and that it likely will be distorted according to 
the pleasure of the relater? 

There are times when a man finds himself in an "every 
man for himself" organization, where personal humiliations 
are the order of the day. For my own part, I wouldn't stay 
in that kind of environment any longer than it would take 
me to find the front door. But continued advancement 
doesn't come easy in the most favorable environments. We 
have to develop an ability to ignore personal pettiness, 
just as we have to overlook many little minor annoyances 
in the average business. 



I56 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

Your superiors may irritate you frequently, and they 
may do a lot of things you have always believed good 
executives should not do, but somehow you just have to 
get along with them or quit. 

In direct interviews with more than fifty executives in 
jobs ranging from assistant managers to vice-presidents, all 
of whom had to satisfy and get along with superiors, it was 
interesting to discover the number of methods these men 
seem to agree upon for better personal relations with those 
to whom they must report and have to satisfy. 

The general philosophy resolves itself to these points: 

1. Accept the situation— to your boss or superiors you 
are an employee! They expect of you the things you expect 
of the people under your supervision. What makes it 
difficult for the average executive to keep this in mind, is 
the difference in degree of general familiarity and friendli- 
ness which develops among the officials of a company, 
as against the proper balance which must be maintained 
between worker and executive. The conference or discus- 
sion technique is usually the order of the day between 
executives and their superiors; however, when orders are 
issued they have to be carried out by the executives just 
as the workers must accept the orders from their seniors. 
One executive outlined a common situation in regard to 
this matter: "If my boss, who happens to be the executive 
vice-president of our firm, asks me to do something," he 
said, "whether 1 disagree with him or not, I do it. If I dis- 
agree, I voice my opinions, for my boss is a reasonable 
man, and thus register my difference of thought. But I do 
the job as he wants it done! He is paying me— and it makes 
no difference to me if I have to do it over again and again 
and again. But I have seen executives come and go in our 
place just because they believed their position entitled them 
to argue with the boss, and in some cases even refuse to 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 57 

do a job as was requested. I figure a man is boss because 
he knows what he is doing. That opinion hasn't changed 
any, even though mine has made some mistakes, but his 
general batting average is so good I really couldn't hold 
any other opinion on the matter." 

2. Avoid direct challenges— Let your superior see for 
himself that you respect his position and that you accept 
his authority. Superiors test themselves, their authority, the 
respect others have for them, just as you may do yourself, 
by issuing an order or requesting some special task be done. 
This is one of the oldest tricks in business. If the test fails, 
your superior's disappointment can very well turn into 
actual dislike— warranted or not. When you disagree on a 
point, do it in the form of a question he can answer. Never 
force him to admit an error. If he is a "big" man, he will 
admit his own errors when he thinks it wise and proper 
to do so, without any prompting from you. If he is a 
"small" man, you are only risking your neck in taking 
such matters up at all. 

3. Don't expect praise— /£ is easy to develop an attitude 
that expects a pat on the back after every job well done, 
but our world doesn't operate on that system. In most 
cases, you won't be disappointed if you expect your super- 
ior merely to hand you another assignment and tell you he 
wants it in a hurry, too. People who frequently expect 
praise invariably turn out to be malcontents. "My boss!" 
they say, adding a few choice adjectives. "Hell, he doesn't 
appreciate what I do. I just handle enough to get me by. 
Believe me, I've learned!" They learn another hard lesson— 
those executives, or workers— there is no future in it. Execu- 
tives know how to take it— how to do a good job, as perfect 
as they can do it— and go right into the next problem with- 
out stopping for the applause. If it's coming to you— you 
will get it. 



158 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

4. Don't be a reformer— Fin d out how your superior 
likes the work done and try to -fit into his way of doing 
things. When he wants things in a certain form— give it to 
him. He has his reasons for it and if you have sufficient 
patience you can learn why. Then you may have an oppor- 
tunity to sell him on better or different methods— but don't 
bother him or annoy him by resorting to your own sys- 
tems. Find out what his peeves and pet gripes, are, and see 
that you avoid them. They may range from arguments, to 
leaving the office before he does at the end of the day, or 
to wearing a flower in your lapel. In some ways you may 
even feel that he is trying to run your life. Unless it over- 
runs all bounds of personal privacy— take it easy. "My boss 
lectures me frequently," another executive told me. "He 
sounds as though he were taking me to task for everything 
in the place, but I've learned that he is only 'educating' me 
in the one way he feels possible. He is the kind of man 
who considers showing a liking for an employee, regard- 
less of position in the organization, during working hours, 
a sign of weakness and surrender of his authority. I've be- 
come a good listener. We are the best of friends socially. 
We get along fine during business hours, too." Use the 
complete range of your own authority, of course, but do 
not tread on your superior's toes with a campaign of re- 
organization, criticism of existing methods, or usurping 
powers which have not been officially granted to you. 
There is a time and place for ideas on reform. 

5. Play the game— The back-alley politician or squealer 
cannot command the resepct of good superiors, much less 
impress poor superiors with anything other than feelings of 
uneasiness or outright distrust. There are, in many organi- 
zations, those who go to top management where they be- 
lieve they have a receptive ear, and say, "It occurred to 
me that you should know that so-and-so is doing thus-and- 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 59 

thus," or "If so-and-so continues his present methods, we 
will be in trouble," or any number of direct or indirect 
suggestions of error in others, according to the opinions 
of the teller. Another type of executive behavior which 
causes trouble with superiors is the attempts to undermine 
an associate's standing in the fight for promotion. Big men 
take their troubles, losses, and adversities with a show of 
poise. The author was guilty of not playing the game some 
years ago. It was a hard lesson to learn but the loss was 
worth the learning. I had a job as an assistant to a vice- 
president. He had given me to understand that if he re- 
signed, retired, or left for any reason, he had advised his 
superiors that he considered me the man to replace him. 
He died unexpectedly. My bosses threw me into the breach 
for several months, and then I learned that the whole story 
had been just a tale to keep me interested in the job. He 
probably thought it a good method— a justifiable method 
for maintaining interest. When my superiors decided to 
fill the gap, they employed an older man. Still burning with 
resentment, I quit when the new man started. I said it was 
foolish. Here is why I think so. The man lasted less than 
a year. In two years time they had three new vice-presi- 
dents in that job. It is conceivable that I would have won 
that promotion in the end. It pays to play the game. 

6. Don't oversell yourself— Your superiors ivill resent 
familiarity and overfriendliness if the majority of it origi- 
nates with you. Slow up a bit. Just as you must control the 
degree of familiarity in your own personal relations with 
those working under you, they feel it necessary to control 
their personal relations with you. There is an old gag 
about what happens when two Dale Carnegie graduates 
meet? It is something to think about. If they learned their 
lessons well, there will be a conscious recognition in each 
that the other fellow knows something about human 



l6o BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

relations. One or the other will slow up— give the other 
fellow a chance to take the lead, make the invitation, offer 
social pursuits, and so forth. If you tend to talk too fast, 
have a feeling that you are a bit awkward, recognize that 
you are firing answers to questions more rapidly than good 
thought would normally permit, and feel uncertainty as 
to whether this boss likes you or not— slow down. Let him 
take the lead. You take your cues accordingly. The best 
way to kill your case with a superior is to give yourself an 
obvious build-up and try to climb up into his lap and 
be sociable, before he has been made receptive to the idea. 
The idea has to come from him. You can see he gets the 
idea by: 

a. Noticing and mentioning his good points on occasion. 

b. Listening to his version of the jobs and problems he: 
has licked, and admitting the acquisition of knowledge 
from his experience. 

c. Talk and act as though you like to be with him. 

d. He suffers self-doubts, too. He wonders whether: 
subordinates respect him. Take the cue if you can. 

e. Admit your need of his help and advice on occasion. 

f. Do some detective work, find out what he likes— 
books, plays, sports, hobbies, recreations— and build? 
an associate into a friend. 

Largely depending on how a man approaches his super- 
iors is the story of his success or the tragedy of his failure., 
Gold mining and your personal relations with superiors are 
much alike. The deeper you dig into their value, the more 
values you are pretty sure to find. 

When discussing this with Dr. A. P. Sperling, Director 
of the x\ptitude Testing Institute, he said, "An executive, 
starting in his job, has but few friends and, it is hoped, a 
very few enemies. His assets increase through his personal 
relations— up or down the ladder from his own position— 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS l6l 

and his liabilities are multiplied from the same source. 
Therefore, the progressive executive must recognize the art 
of better personal relations as the first factor to deal with. 
To acquire it, he must do more than intend— he must 
profit from proper application of the right methods as 
against the obvious errors of his ways in the past." 

There should be sufficient germs for thought, as to your 
own situation, in these three chapters on this very im- 
portant subject. Get acquainted with men— if you would 
be a progressive executive. 



"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"In your opinion, what distinguishes the modern pro- 
gressive executive from the brass hat type of the past?" 

William I. Orchard, Copy Editor, Batten, Barton, 
Durstine & Osborn, Inc., states: "In my opinion, the rapid 
changes in the world today have forced us to recognize 
certain inadequacies in the old-time brass hat type of 
executive. I have known many of them, and some ex- 
ceedingly successful, but I believe that continued success 
can only come from a completely revised point of view 
toward executive responsibilities. These new viewpoints 
are: 

a. The willing delegation of both responsibility and 
authority to others in an effort to free oneself from 
unnecessary detail. 

b. With this new-found time, to engage in self-analysis 
and study one's approach to one's own business 
problems to achieve a better vertical synthesis in the 
making of decisions. 

c. With this new-found time, to engage in thorough 
study of allied fields which may directly or indirectly 



1 62 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

affect one's own business or industry and thus pro- 
vide a greater horizontal development. 
To remain successful, the old-time brass hat must do 
these things. Any executive who takes these means to keep 
pace with today's pressure of business is, in my opinion, 
on the road to modern progressive executive leadership. 
Actually, not all the executives of the past were brass hats 
or stuffed shirts, and those who were not were the trainers 
of the modern type of executive." 

Morris I. Pickus, President, The Personnel Institute, Inc., 
Consultants in Personnel Administration, states: "The old- 
time brass hat executive is now deader than a 'dodo'! My 
opinion has been formed by 25 years in sales training, 
marketing, and personnel work, during which time I have 
had the fortunate experience of personal contact with 
nearly 1,000 executives in a variety of industries. The 
labor unions, our higher standard of living and the general 
attitudes of the American worker have forced the execu- 
tive—the old-time hard-fisted executive— to become a per- 
suasive leader. 

"The old-time type of executive was a driver. Many 
times such a man had a feeling of insecurity, and he com- 
pensated for this feeling of insecurity and inferiority by 
overpowering his subordinates. He always wanted some- 
thing done irrespective of whether it was properly planned 
or whether there was any real need for doing what he 
wanted done. Timing to him was an unknown factor. 

"The basic idea in management today is 'Teamwork.' 
Farsighted progressive executives carefully analyze their 
job descriptions. They are adept at delegating detail to 
subordinates. They have begun to realize that they must 
'spend more time' with their individual employees. Proper 
motivation comes from consultation and explanation. 



IMPORTANCE OF YOUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS 1 63 

We must open the channels of communication between 
the supervisor and his employee. This can only be 
accomplished by thoroughly understanding his people and 
to accomplish this understanding he should do two things: 
1. Use aptitude tests and progress reports in order to more 
accurately measure the areas of weakness and the areas of 
strength in every individual under his supervision. 2. After 
forming decisions based on facts and not on opinions, he 
should set aside regular intervals for complete, friendly 
conferences with each employee. 

"It is true that a good executive must be skillful in 
human relations; it is true that a good executive must have 
insight into human behavior. However, in order to acquire 
this skill and in order to have this insight, it is necessary for 
the executive to arrange and devote the required time. I 
emphasize Time repeatedly because brass hats are too 
busy to find it by a proper analysis of their own activities. 
Progressive executives are not too busy to devote time to 
all their people.' , 

Andrew J. Haire, President, The Haire Publications, 
states: "In my opinion the essential difference between a 
brass hat and a progressive executive is that a brass hat 
will give an order without extending the privilege of 
discussion. One must carry it out even when knowing that 
the order is wrong. The progressive executive gives orders 
with the privilege of discussion. One may have to carry 
out such orders his way even though you have the knowl- 
edge that you are right. In such cases the net result is prac- 
tically the same." 



CHAPTER 11 

The Art of Keeping Up-to-Date 



Every executive should ask himself whether he is willing 
to endure the pain of the price of success for the glory 
and rewards that go with achievement. Or whether he 
prefers to accept the uneasy and inadequate content- 
ment (?) that comes with mediocrity. It has got to be one 
or the other. 

That others, besides the author, recognize how very 
many executives tend to coast along on their formal edu- 
cation (which might be up to forty or more years out of 
date) and on their experience (which usually is narrowly 
confined to their own specialty) is indicated by the number 
of references made to this subject by leading educators 
and successful leaders. 

The Milwaukee Journal reported that Walter R. Agard 
of Wisconsin University was unhappy about his chrysan- 
themums. They die each winter because they have not 
grown deeply enough into the soil. It reminds him of so 
many students he has known— men who grew very rapidly 
during their years of schooling and then, transplanted by 
graduation into the unsheltered soil of competitive life, 
began to shrivel and die. 

In his Autobiography With Letters, William Lyon 
Phelps writes, "Education means drawing forth from the 
mind latent powers and developing them, so that in mature 
years one may apply these powers not merely to success 

164 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 1 65 

in one's occupation, but to success in the greatest of all 
arts— the art of living." 

That is an ideal, but apparently Dr. James Creese, presi- 
dent of Drexel Institute in Philadelphia doesn't have much 
hope for the majority achieving such an ideal. While his 
idea is semi-facetious, I'll let the reader judge if it might 
not work, considejing the vague efforts made by some 
executives at self-improvement and the half-hearted at- 
tempts to keep up-to-date on their business or con- 
temporary affairs. 

Dr. Creese suggests placing young graduates of schools 
and colleges in the high-bracket jobs ($50,000 and up) in 
the capacity of presidents, chairmen of boards, or as 
managers and consultants. He then suggests that they be 
slowly demoted as they grow older, until at age 65 or over 
they are serving in easier jobs as receptionists, watchmen, 
elevator starters, and other posts which would not tax 
their ability to stay on top and keep informed. 

Dr. Creese offers this plan on the theory that it would 
bring to top-level management in business and industry 
the most energetic, original, and resourceful age groups. 
Besides, he feels that these men, realizing that they could 
go only down, would devote themselves completely to 
their jobs without wasting time on competition, or making 
up to their superiors for future favors. 

Indeed, it used to be that everyone had to climb the 
ladder of success, but many people today are looking for 
an express elevator. It seems that the average man asks of 
education only that it increase his power to earn so that 
he can enjoy a greater amount of material things than the 
less educated. It might be a fine idea if we could adopt 
Dr. George Gallop's suggestion that schools and colleges 
wait a number of years after graduation before awarding 
diplomas and degrees, to see if the student could give satis- 



1 66 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

factory proof that he has continuously , seriously, and sys- 
tematically pursued his interest in learning, and has de- 
veloped mentally and spiritually. 

I am developing this chapter entirely on the basis that 
education— in all forms— has something to do with chang- 
ing people for the better by leading them to a greater 
activity of mind than they displayed before— regardless of j 
age or experience. In this matter I again went to many 
executives and asked their opinions on keeping up-to-date. 
I selected men who are successful— exhibiting right now 
all the traits which differentiate the progressive executive 
from the brass hat. 

A question was submitted, "Do you believe the average 
executive is too narrowly specialized? What do you be- 
lieve to be some of the best methods for keeping up-to- 
date and broadening his outlook and knowledge?" 

These replies are representative of all the answers I 
received: 

i. Jack Wilson, Mill Representative for Reeves 
Brothers, Inc., wrote: "Yes, the average executive is much 
too narrow to cope with today's problems and his respon- 
sibilities. Among the remedies I follow are:— a. Devote as 
much time as possible to help young people succeed along 
specific lines— those I know about, b. Listen to, and help 
create, new ideas; especially to be helpful in developing 
new ideas for business brought to my attention by the 
younger element. It gives them the courage and stimulus 
to do it again. We need it. c. Through the study of 
certain subjects, or even teaching some of them, such as 
economics, business practices, salesmanship, management, 
public speaking, business, and contract law, etc." 

2. H. Henry Krudop, Manager, Fine Paper Dept., 
George W. Millar & Company, Inc., said: "Indeed, I 
know the average executive is narrowly specialized. I 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 1 67 

would suggest daily improvement through the study of 
trade papers, trade meetings, contacts with others in the 
field— especially outside his field. It is important that he 
plug time-wasting leaks by hiring competent assistants 
and relying on them to get results." 

3. Linwood G. Lessig, an executive with J. Walter 
Thompson, Inc., stated: "It is not good, but I guess too 
many of us are over-specialized in our particular fields of 
action. By joining organizations related to our own busi- 
ness, a first essential in keeping up-to-date in our own 
jobs, and then joining some organization where we have 
a chance to meet people from other lines of endeavor, we 
can hope to develop broadening acquaintances. This is an 
excellent medium for the exchange of ideas. Subscribing 
to trade papers— and reading them— to broaden his per- 
spective is the next essential. This also applies to good 
books on various subjects, courses in local colleges, or 
correspondence courses. As for the latter, all too little in- 
formation has been spread regarding the efficiency and 
splendid work many colleges are doing in this direction." 

4. Suggests Armand J. Gariepy, Administrative Assis- 
tant, U.S. Aviation Underwriters, Inc.,— "My reply to 
your question is obvious, for we all know that we tend 
to limit ourselves to our own fields beyond sensible appli- 
cation. I find suitable remedies for this situation in such 
directions as: 

a. Instructing in evening school or colleges. This gives 
one a chance to "battle" with young minds. It is 
most enlightening. 

b. As a chairman of a committee, committee member, 
or other official or group leader at a trade club. 

c. As a participant in courses developed by trade clubs. 

d. Building up promising employees into good junior 
executives, or junior executives to senior executives. 



1 68 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

This requires highly intensified direction, but once 
the specialized knowledge of the business has been 
covered, it is important to include the aspects of the 
relationship of other fields, competition, etc. It is 
self-instructive. 
e. By welcoming and really listening to suggestions. 
The know-it-all attitude of the brass hat snuffs out 
all hope of new thinking. A ready ear, patient atti- 
tude, encouraging reception, and repetition of the 
germ of an idea, and insisting that the same attitude 
prevail on all levels of authority, would in my 
opinion broaden all supervisors, managers, and execu- 
tives. 
/. By special study (reading, discussions, or courses) 

of outside and allied fields. 
g. By getting interested in other departments of the 
business, or specialties, such as, personnel, public rela- 
tions, merchandising, sales, accounting, production, 
purchasing, etc. 
h. By helping out in various civic activities for the sole 
purpose of "doing good" and without the slightest 
hope of end gain!" 
These are not theories which I am dreaming up or 
cribbing from textbooks written by men with but a faint 
idea of how widely theory and practice are divided in the 
business world. To put it straight— it is advice right from 
the horse's mouth. It applies to the workers who are 
highly concentrating their efforts on the competition of 
winning advancement to executive jobs; it applies to 
executives who are trying to hold on to their jobs— and 
possibly go up just another step or two. 

"Sure, this is all very well," you say at this point, "but 
this man doesn't know how busy I am. Where am I going 
to find the time to do all these things?" 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 1 69 

Your first problem is to examine your time-wasters. 
And I mean that you should take a really good, long, hard 
look. It is not so often that you will find time-wasters 
in the performance of your regular duties. There are some, 
and they should be eliminated. I asked several executives 
that question, too. Here are some of the replies: 

1. From Frank W. Love joy, Sales Executive, Socony- 
Vacuum Oil Company, Inc.: "In my business it is pub- 
lisher's representatives (and there are all too many of 
them) who attempt to interest us in using their publica- 
tions. Generally they (the representatives) haven't the 
faintest idea what we sell or how we market it. (Publishers, 
please note.) They know all about their business and 
nothing about ours. They do not know whether we sell 
through jobbers, dealers, or direct— wholesale, retail, 
nationally, internationally, or locally. I get rid of them 
until they learn— sending them to our display rooms for a 
hasty course on the scope and purpose of our organiza- 
tion." 

2. From Philip J. Kelly, Advertising Director, National 
Distillers Products Corporation: "The worst time-wasters 
in my business activities are commercial callers who seldom 
know enough about their own business and darn little of 
ours, and who usually drop in just to say hello because 
they happen to be in the neighborhood." 

3. From Frank M. Head, Vice-President, United Cigar- 
Whelan Stores, Inc.: "I found out that I just couldn't 
spend the time interviewing insistent salesmen who gen- 
erally didn't know my line anyway, and chasing down 
ephemeral ideas that appeared promising but end in im- 
practical dream-stuff. I'm a fact-finder today. I do business 
only with fact-finders." 

But there are many other time-wasters which we com- 
pletely overlook— during business hours as well as out of 



170 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

regular working hours. They include, too many social 
obligations, friends who call on the phone and just talk 
and talk, hucksters who are permitted to make the rounds 
in the office, personal letters being answered during busi- 
ness hours, being a good Joe and giving too many favors, 
and the like. 

We are in agreement, you and I, that personal generosity, 
kindness, remembrances, and generally good personal re- 
lations are essentials if we are to advance our share of suc- 
cess. We face a choice of going ahead without the obstacle 
of a lot of time-wasters, or to have our progress checked 
—even halted— because of an overworked sense of obliga- 
tion that others are all too ready to take advantage of. 

Three important time-wasters must be considered— no 
matter what our personal feelings may be in the matter. 
These include: 1. Our immediate families. This includes- 
everyone from blood relatives to in-laws and tenth cousins 
2. Our friends and acquaintances. 3. Our business associates. 

Let us start on number 1— our families and relatives. 
They can at one time be the greatest inspiration, and help, 
and on the other hand the worst time-wasters we have to 
check. The president of a firm told me, "I do not suffer 
nearly as much loss of needed time from those who secure 
my name from sources of supply to obtain from me 
opinions on new items, marketing, or promotional matters, 
as I do from those with whom I have a very close rela- 
tionship—principally relatives." That thought may never 
have entered your head. Success carries with it many re- 
sponsibilities, not the least of which is to have all the time 
you can muster to keep yourself informed. Getting rid 
of time-wasters may give you that time. It is families who 
should make allowances, and where they do not— where 
they demand the same amount of your time and atten- 
tions as you were able to give them when you were less 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE IJl 

beset with important obligations, then they become drags, 
intentional or not. 

It requires a lot of personal fortitude, tact, diplomacy, 
to ignore or rectify such situations— usually knowing in 
advance that you will be misunderstood, to elect to place 
your responsibilities to your own wife and children, to 
your firm and subordinates, to yourself, above other 
family and relationship considerations. But if they are 
wasting your time— you had better figure the way out, even 
if you cannot breathe understanding into some of them. 

The second item— your friends and acquaintances present 
a very similar situation as that which develops with 
family members. At the risk of being called everything 
from "rat" to "louse" you simply must make the choice 
between non-productive time as against productive time. 
Requests to get people things at wholesale, ship a parcel 
here or there, use your influence to do this or that, must 
all be weighed in relation to the importance of the indi- 
vidual. End-gaining? No— discrimination! These things 
can go too far beyond the limits of common sense, as you 
undoubtedly know. 

Take the case of an up-and-coming lawyer who ex- 
perienced a very common situation. He was rapidly mov- 
ing into larger political circles. The demands on his time 
were beginning to disrupt his own home until he sat down 
with his wife and discussed their situation. 

Ten years previously, when they first moved into the 
town where they lived, they followed the usual patterns. 
He commuted daily. His wife made the neighborly social 
contacts through church, clubs, and local activities. They 
began to see their neighbors on occasional evenings, and 
then regularly, for that chat or game of bridge. Club and 
church activities— entirely local in color and scope— de- 
manded time. 



172 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

But Joe Williams, to give him a name, was outclassing 
and outgrowing his friends in his business progress. His 
wife tried desperately to keep up the social end on her 
own, for more and more of his time was taken up in 
activities away from the town. People began to suggest 
that he was becoming snobbish, above them. It began to 
look to Joe and his wife as though they would have to 
make a decision— give up success, or cater to the good will 
of his friends and neighbors. 

Joe and his wife moved away— the only solution to the 
problems accompanying Joe's rise in life, and one which 
salved their better feelings. "I didn't want to give up 
those friendships," Joe told me. "I feel every bit of warmth 
and friendliness for those people as I ever did. I am very 
sorry they couldn't, or didn't want to, understand that I 
could no longer devote as much time as I formerly did to 
their affairs and activities." 

Either you want to broaden yourself, make time to do it, 
or you are willing to sacrifice it on the altar of friendship 
and acquaintances who are not big enough to understand 
that responsibilities may lessen contacts without impairing 
such relationships. 

The third item— your business associates— is a slightly 
different matter. I have, in this volume, suggested to you 
that it pays to give advice, help people with their problems, 
listen to suggestion, be friendly, willing, and give of your 
time. These things must be sensibly rationed or they are 
likely to become so burdensome as to topple you right out 
of your job. I have known executives, good speakers, who 
accepted so many speaking engagements that they finally 
received official reprimands on the loss of time from work 
—rather than commendation for good public relations. The 
free advice seekers, the favor hunters, the politicians who 
continually want to line you up behind their own ideas, 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 173 

the office gossips, dependent subordinates who cannot do 
a piece of work unless you are present to check each stage 
as it progresses, are all various forms of time-wasters— 
perhaps of your own making. 

The progressive executive cannot afford to throw 
around his allotted twenty-four hours per day. His obliga- 
tions and responsibilities to his firm, his subordinates, his 
associates, his family, and to himself, are too great and 
too important for encroachment by time-wasters. The 
elimination of a major percentage of these time-wasters 
may spell the difference between keeping up-to-date in 
your field and contemporary affairs, and a label of "has 
been." 

One of the cutest tricks I ran into, when making the 
rounds of people suggested for interviews on this subject, 
was the practice of an executive to prominently display 
a hearing aid— for which he had absolutely no need. His 
job required seeing a great many people in the course of 
the day. Where there was immediate progress, he talked 
with the individual and heard him without difficulty. 
Where he sensed there would only be a waste of his time to 
see the individual before him for any lengthy period, his 
hearing aid suddenly "went sour"— battery dead— or some 
such excuse, and he asked the person in his office to write 
what he had to say from that point on. The interview 
usually ended quickly. "It is surprising," he finally said, 
"how little people really have to talk about when they have 
to write it down!" 

Out of more than a hundred contacts with progressive 
executives, there developed a pattern of six distinct points 
of discussion covering the best means for keeping up-to- 
date in this fast moving world. Many men believe that hard 
work and an objective performance are all that is required 
to win or to maintain a successful position in life. Un- 



174 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

fortunately, as has been proved by research work in this 
field, overconcentration on the job results in nothing more 
than narrow experience. The individual soon loses his per- 
spective and finds himself in the same mental circum- 
stances as the inebriated man who bumped into a telephone 
pole on his rather unsteady way home. He put his hands on 
the wooden surface in front of him— concentrating as only 
a lush can, in solemn fixation. He walked around the 
pole slowly— feeling his way over every inch. After many 
times around the pole, he stopped to rest. Then he went 
the other way for a long time— always feeling his way along 
in that same intense concentration. Finally, he sat down on 
the curbing and began to weep. A passer-by stopped to 
ask him if he could help him in any way. 

"No," the drunk wailed in anguish, "only the Lord can 
help us now— we're walled in!" 

If you don't want your mind to remain walled in— in a 
concentration camp of old ideas— examine some of these 
suggestions which follow. You may be, probably are, en- 
gaging in some such activities. If not— you might at least 
investigate the possibilities. A new horizon in the effort to 
broaden yourself. 

i. Activities in your trade, business, or professional 
clubs and associations. Intellectual and social betters boost 
us. When we meet our stale moods with counteracting 
companions, we are always benefited. As we grow ready 
for the acquaintance and friendship of desirable and de- 
pendable men, we find them ready to extend their interests 
to us. The concert of good company usually fires a man 
to greater energy and more endurance. There is no better 
source for such growth than that presented by affiliation 
and active participation in trade, business, or professional 
organizations. Dues are nominal, and the only other expense 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 1 75 

the cost of a luncheon or dinner. Meetings take little time, 
perhaps once a week, bi-weekly, or only monthly. 

Harry Simmons, a sales and management consultant, 
speaking from the rostrum at a meeting of the Sales Execu- 
tive's Club of New York, said, "If I were soliciting mem- 
berships for this club, I would say that we are delivering 
a thousand dollar package, as a minimum, to our members 
each year. It is possible to pick up one or hundreds of new 
ideas at our meetings worth many times that amount!" 

Working with business associates, men in competitive 
lines, men in allied fields, provides for a healthy exchange 
of opinion and an opportunity to gain knowledge not 
offered in any classroom or through any course. Besides 
offering the individual an opportunity to serve unselfishly 
in establishing training programs for the younger ele- 
ments, organizing community projects, and serving on 
committees within the club or association structure, the 
opportunities to broaden one's contacts, to obtain outside 
opinions on basic problems, are unlimited. 

Closely associated with item i is our second suggestion. 

2. Affiliation <with a service club. This has nothing to 
do with your trade, business, or profession. You need 
such contacts in your work if you would keep aware of 
what is going on, new developments in your own field, and 
so forth. Service clubs are such organizations as Kiwanis, 
Rotary, Lions, Exchange, and others. We might add here 
Chambers of Commerce, Junior Chambers of Commerce, 
and local business clubs which include men from every 
line of business in the locality. Again, it is not a matter 
of great financial burden. Dues are nominal and running 
expenses do not exceed greatly the cost of meals at meeting 
times. The opportunity for contacts with people in other 
walks of life is important. "We all are interdependent and 
no executive can put on blinders to what is happening in 



Ij6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

other fields or professions. There are no clear-cut dividing 
lines that make commercial or professional isolationism 
practical or desirable," says E. D. Horgan, Manager, Sales 
Promotion, Interchemical Corporation. "The scrutiny of 
one man is a small measure of human nature or human 
knowledge, and a dangerous or discouraging employment. 
The study of several men will give you a greater latitude 
of knowledge, and from this a greater understanding of 
human nature so you may sift out such knowledge and 
traits which may be adapted to your own needs." 

3. Trade papers, or journals, concerning your business 
or profession. Business is no longer a bilk-and-barter game. 
It is a complex activity in which the well-informed and 
well-trained mind is the most acceptable, not to mention 
the most efficient. As Douglas E. Lurton, Editor, Your 
Life Magazine, put it, when we were discussing the value 
of trade papers, "Weeds grow without invitation, and 
even roses grow wild without any attention, but one can't 
raise a hill of potatoes without using a hoe regularly! The 
same goes for a man's business. Trade papers are his hoe. 
They provide a stimulus to think up new ideas and fre- 
quently provide ready-made ideas. Naturally, they keep 
one informed on how others are doing and what they are 
doing. No progressive executive today overlooks such an 
important source of information. 

"In my years in the publishing business, for example," 
Douglas Lurton continued, "I have seen many men come 
up and reach top jobs in this field. As I remember them 
I cannot help but recall that they were among those who 
used to come into the executive's offices and ask if they 
could borrow copies of our trade papers so that they might 
keep abreast of new developments. It isn't often that em- 
ployees have a chance to see the trade papers, you know, 
unless they subscribe for themselves. Perhaps that is a 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 1 77 

good thing for it gives the wide awake executive a pretty 
good idea of the people who are on their toes. Naturally, 
this shouldn't be the sole criterion— but it is an important 
one. 

"Not so long ago," he continued, "an acquaintance came 
to see me and he was quite agitated over his unexpected 
election to a high post in a trade association. He felt that 
he wasn't sufficiently 'up on things' in his field to make 
the right impression. I suggested that he get copies of his 
trade papers for the past month, and subscribe to every 
one of the important ones so he would be sure to obtain 
current issues for the following month or two. Then I sug- 
gested that he read them through, quickly, to capture a 
general picture of the happenings and events in the field. 
When I next saw him he was a different person. He was 
tickled with the results— with the fact that there was 
seldom a time in the meetings of the association where he 
was unaware of a point, an event, a problem, which was 
facing the industry as a whole. Trade papers are a power 
in the average man's business life. He shouldn't overlook 
their possibilities, willfully or carelessly." 

"I know many business men who haven't looked at 
their trade papers for months. I know, because I've seen 
them collecting dust— still in their unopened wrappers just 
as the mailman delivered them," J. Louis Ledeen, Director 
of Distribution, Indian Motorcycle Company, said to me. 
"Years ago we used to feel that when a man left school 
or college, his education was finished. We now realize how 
artificial that sort of thinking was. Today we hold more 
to the idea that work and continued education must go 
hand in hand. One of the most important elements of such 
education can be found in careful study of the trade 
papers in the indvidual's field of business." 

4. Cultivating the acquaintance of others in your line 



178 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

of business ivith co?npeting firms. Executives might take 
a page from the book of salesmen and sales managers in 
this respect. While commercial espionage is generally 
frowned upon, top management does find it desirable to 
keep an ear open in other than the usual trade channels for 
information which may prove of advantage. Attempting to 
be altruistic in this matter, I will confine myself to the 
suggestion that trade papers cannot present every good 
idea in print. Exchange of information on how certain 
problems have been licked, ideas developed, programs in- 
stituted, may provide many solutions to your own prob- 
lems. Who can better "talk your language" than people 
in the same line of business— regardless of the competitive 
factors involved? 

j. Educational activities for specialized knowledge. 
Voluntary education is the thing today. The progressive 
executive who is interested in good leadership will pay a 
reasonable price for modern and practical supplementary 
education— a little time. I realize that you may feel as 
though I am asking you to spend time on this, time on 
that, time on the job, and so on, until you feel you will 
never be able to keep all these separate activities within 
the limits of such time as you may have available. How- 
ever, if you stop to think about it— so many of these sug- 
gestions overlap, and so many require but a bit of time 
which you now spend in similar ways— though non-pro- 
ductively— you will see where some time-planning can be 
of a great deal of assistance here. 

This matter of acquiring up-to-date information by tak- 
ing courses in your local schools, colleges, or training pro- 
grams sponsored by your clubs or associations, needs no 
explanation, excuse, or argument. It is self-evident. But 
very many executives are in a position where they can- 
not attend regular classes, and many are in an area where 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 1 79 

no such opportunity presents itself— the nearest residence 
schools being beyond the distance of practical attendance. 

It would surprise you how many of these people, who 
could benefit from correspondence courses, shy away from 
them because of the uninformed prejudice which has been 
promoted because of some instances of unreliability. Just 
as many cases, if not more, of unreliable residence schools 
and colleges are a matter of record. "Correspondence 
courses are a great aid to us in helping us train our per- 
sonnel in various phases of our business," one executive 
told me. "But as for myself? I don't think they would do 
me much good." He shook his head and looked at me 
as though I had proposed something quite distasteful to 
him. 

"Why do you feel they couldn't help you?" I asked him. 

"Because, at my time of life, a mail-order certificate that 
I had completed a course in this or that isn't going to be of 
much use to me." 

"Who said anything about studying for a certificate?" 
I said. "What about just studying to learn something- 
get the modern slant on things— keep up with research 
findings, and so on?" 

"Oh, that," he said. "Well, if there was a school around 
here. . . ." 

I knew that he was prejudiced and I couldn't take the 
time to try to sell him on the idea. I hope he reads this 
book for I am going to give the reader some idea of 
modern correspondence education— how it started and 
where it is today. 

Back in 1871 the University of Cambridge offered 
courses beyond the college walls via correspondence. The 
earliest American date is 1879 when William Rainey 
Harper, professor of languages at Yale, started teaching 
students by mail. In 1890 the University of Chicago in- 



l8o BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

eluded University Extension courses in spite of the con- 
siderable amount of prejudice against the idea of educators. 
The University of Chicago today has hundreds of credit 
and non-credit courses with thousands of students all 
over the country. Other colleges which offer courses by 
mail include Pennsylvania State College, Ohio State Uni- 
versity, Massachusetts Division of University Extension, 
University of Nebraska, Columbia University, Arizona 
State University, University of Michigan, North Dakota 
Agricultural College, Arkansas State Teachers College, 
and many others too numerous to compile here. Fred G. 
Stevenson, University of Michigan, has stated that corre- 
spondence courses are cheaper for the student and the 
institution than campus work, and quite as effective. The 
greater flexibility in course requirements and combinations 
to be obtained makes it possible to arrange an individual 
program for each student. The individual has the additional 
advantage of being able to explore his interests, test his 
abilities, and concentrate on his specialties with little loss 
of time, convenience of time available, at a rate of speed 
natural with his own abilities, less money, and no loss of 
prestige. 

The results are highly favorable. Studies made in Mon- 
tana show that students do good work in and out of school. 
University of Michigan Correspondence Project indicated 
that correspondence students made better than average 
records. Extensive sampling at the University of Chicago 
indicated that correspondence students obtained marks 
higher than the average of all resident students. 

It is easy to understand why correspondence students 
usually attain higher standings than the average resident 
student. They are studying for a purpose— more concerned 
with gaining knowledge than the credits involved. 

Don't let a prejudice, based on snobbishness or a lack 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE l8l 

of fact, stop you from obtaining needed supplementary 
education by mail— if that is the most convenient method 
for you to get it. And perhaps this information will pre- 
vent you from misjudging a man's acceptability for a job 
—just because he has gained most of his knowledge and 
training through this type of study. 

Lincoln, the self-educated man, said, "I will study and 
prepare myself and some day my opportunity will come." 
What an inspiring lesson in so short a sentence. How prac- 
tical and punchful. When we grow older but continue to 
study and prepare ourselves, we profit by the experience 
of Lincoln and prosper on the life plan of nearly every 
great and good man who ever lived or is living. 

6. Productive recreations and hobbies. On this item 
there seems to be general agreement among most of the 
executives I have interviewed that any recreational 
activity which at some time affords the participants an 
opportunity to get together and talk over— not only their 
mutual interest in their hobby or sport, but matters of a 
contemporary and occupational nature, mostly explanatory 
in aspect, perhaps just blowing off a bit of steam— is help- 
ful and mentally stimulating. 

They also seem agreed that outside of lying in bed and 
sleeping, there is little real rest in just sitting around, 
puttering, following closely confined hobbies which ex- 
clude contacts with other people. One's mind continues 
to function and it might as well be put to use in mutual 
expression and exchange of opinions and ideas. 

The suggestion here seems to resolve itself to interesting 
hobbies and recreations which prove diversionary and en- 
tertaining, but which permit a certain amount of intelli- 
gent discourse between the individual and people he 
might otherwise not see or communicate with during his 
average business day. Rest, they opine, is the period you 



1 82 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

spend in bed sleeping— and you know how much you need. 
Relaxation is change of activity— whether it is mental or] 
physical. 

And so we have covered six points in the program of 
keeping up-to-date— an horizon most of us could expand— 
which in turn will aid us to expand. In my last interview on 
this subject my informant gave me a perfect closing, and I 
shall use it here. He said, "J ust telling the average executive 
he can be a progressive executive is so much twaddle talk. 
He has to want to improve himself, almost every day, and 
if he really is progressive he will admit that this is practical 
hard-boiled good sense!" 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What is your opinion on the need for improving 
executive attitudes in today's rapid business and in- 
dustrial pace?" 

Gilbert T. Hodges, Chairman of Executive Committee, 
The New York Sun, states: "From the outline of the 
theme of Brass Hat or Executive I feel there is a great need 
for such a book. We are living in a dynamic world, and 
there is no question but what worth-while executives 
must be open-minded to the many changes taking place in 
our economic progress. The old must either be replaced by 
the new, or be constantly alert to the many influences 
affecting national and international trade and commerce. 
They say it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks, but 
this must be done if the old dog is to remain in business. 
Executives need more information on improvement in the 
personal approach to the problem of keeping up-to-date 
in a changing world." 

Sidney Edlund, Partner, Sidney Edlund & Company, and 
originator of the famed Man-marketing Clinics, states: 



THE ART OF KEEPING UP-TO-DATE 1 83 

"Get rid of all work which subordinates can perform. Get 
closer to workers, customers, prospects. Develop man-to- 
man rather than man-to-servant relations with employees. 
Stimulate and aid employees to make use of their great 
unused capacities. Use scientific fact-finding and analysis 
as a basis for important decisions, with facts on hand to 
make prompt but not hurried decisions. Consider first what 
is good in new ideas rather than what is bad. In my opinion 
this represents the acceptable minimum attitudes for im- 
proved executive ability today." 



CHAPTER 12 

Master Salesmanship— A Must!— Part 1 



"Today the emphasis is on selling," according to William 
C. Decker, President of Corning Glass Works. "Un- 
dreamed-of productive capacity is available to make 
possible undreamed-of standards of living. Much more 
product than ever before, however, must be moved from 
factories to consumers to achieve that goal. That is why 
better selling is so urgently needed." 

Everything I have presented so far has been with an 
eye toward promoting attitudes— "selling" attitudes— which 
can be developed in a general broadening program for 
the progressive executive. I am not concerned with the 
actual methods, for these will vary with the needs of the 
individual, and will be dictated largely by the business in 
which he engages. I have been concerned with the ex- 
tremely limited view many executives hold as to their 
relationship to their jobs, their firms, their subordinates, 
and the general public. 

In weighing the importance of an executive's respon- 
sibilities, it seems to me we must begin with the thought 
that we shall progress further along the path of human 
understanding as to what our system of free enterprise 
means when everyone— executives included— recognize that 
management personnel is equally engaged in selling the 
worker's labor for him, and in directing his productiveness. 
The workingman who helps to make paint, clothes, furni- 

184 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST"! 1 85 

ture, or automobiles, has his job only so long as manage- 
ment personnel is efficiently selling his work for him. The 
progressive executive knows that the river of useful articles 
and services which are being perfected by human minds 
and hands in laboratories, plants, and testing grounds must 
be introduced to the buying public if they are to create 
even more jobs for more people. The progressive executive 
is more than the intelligence agent for management, he is 
also the business representative— no matter what his own 
special function— for the skill and productive genius of 
the workers. 

Our way of life is a persuasive way of life. Too few 
executives concern themselves with the fact that markets 
have to be built, just as machinery, organizations, or 
factories, and that they share in that building. Because 
markets are vague intangibles, except to experts, the 
average executive puts too much emphasis on his part in 
production. The progressive executive develops the modern 
attitude that we make things or develop services because 
we can sell them to others. They keep in mind— selling 
comes first— always! 

Unless executives create the primary forces in the 
business cycle— manufacture, distribution, customer desire 
—none of the other components in their business will func- 
tion. It is up to every executive to take the initiative. Our 
prosperity depends upon the smooth and steady flow of 
production and services into the hands of the users. This 
responsibility rests entirely with executives. It is the 
heaviest responsibility they have ever faced. I have scouted 
many authorities to obtain opinions and have found general 
agreement on this compilation of data for "selling" within 
and outside of your organization: 

1. You must train recruits; retain personnel to meet to- 
day's standards in quality production, efficient sales 



1 86 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

methods, etc., to overcome the hangover from war- 
time methods not consistent with post-war compe- 
tition; to overcome the lassitudes of sellers' markets 
and order-taking, and to develop energetic public 
relations and sales processes. 

2. You must seek to introduce supervisory training for 
junior executives, foremen, supervisors, and for im- 
proved leadership on all levels of management. 

3. You must sell everyone within your own business 
on the need for higher product quality, improved 
product value, more efficient design. 

4. You must sell others in management on the need ttM 
seek and secure more reliable market information, 
more detailed market building programs, etc., to be; 
used as guides to greater selling success. 

5. You must tend to develop inspiring leadership traits 
in yourself and set inspiring standards of service to 
others. 

6. You must sell others in management on the need for 
continual experimenting on new approaches and 
techniques for more effective business programs, 

while following the best and tried methods available. 

What can you, as an executive, do about these sug- 
gestions? 

a. You can assume that these problems are immediate 
and that you are personally concerned with them. 
When production catches up to demand, every execu- 
tive is on the spot— you— and every executive carries 
the responsibility of seeing that warehouses do not 
back up into the production lines. Handle your own 
job as efficiently as possible— that's just sensible— but 
sell yourself on keeping an eye on the operation as a 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 1 87 

whole, and then sell others such ideas as you may 
originate which would be useful elsewhere. 

b. Improve your knowledge of sales promotion, adver- 
tising, sales literature, and such sales tools as can be 
useful in your operation, so that you may carry on 
your own job with a greater sense of direction and 
purpose. 

c. Prepare your personnel in quality and in quantity. 
Sell your present personnel on the benefits of modern 
training, accompanied by clear-cut outlines of com- 
pany policy. Be sure to get superior personnel when 
you take on new people. Have in mind not only the 
ability to perform under current conditions, but what 
performance may be expected under pressure of any 
anticipated difficulties. 

d. Try to ascertain that your own superiors seem thor- 
oughly convinced of the necessity for improving 
every avenue which will make easier the job of com- 
petitive selling and better public relations. 

e. Try to discover which are the progressive elements 
at work in your firm. Back those people and help 
them to sell their ideas. 

f. Sell your own ideas and your own programs. The 
proper interviewing techniques might be considered 
here as an aid in developing your approach. You 
might study these seven points and practice them: 

1. Make certain of your facts and that your story 
will have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Keep 
things in a logical sequence. 

2. Of two people at an interview, the one with the 
clearest picture can draw a focused attention and 
hold it. 

3. Forget yourself. Don't end-gain. Keep your mind 



1 88 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

on your man and on what you are trying to sell 
him. 

4. As quickly as possible, put him into a picture he 
should want to be in. You may do this by asking 
questions, through showing him something, or 
by giving him something he can handle or see. 

5. Try to differentiate yourself in some way by 
better behavior, different actions, or more suave 
approach than the usual run of people who see 
this man. 

6. Try to dramatize through a series of verbal pictures 
and gestures, to place your man in situations or 
circumstances where he would actually use, or 
benefit from the use of the idea, the service, or the 
product. 

7. Be careful not to push for a decision where a little 
time for consideration might spell the difference 
between rejection or acceptance. 

There are situations where some executives will be in- 
clined to react to these suggestions in some manner like, 
"This man should meet my boss! He runs our business— 
we just do as we are told." 

I'm no magician, but at least I think I would try. That 
is what a Governor of Wisconsin stated, "Let no cynic 
tell you you were born at the wrong time. Rather let the 
historian some day say of you, thankfully, that you came 
to us precisely when we most desperately needed you." 
What we need most desperately in current times are some 
fearless progressive executives who will at least try to sell 
progressive ideas. 

And having touched on the need for master salesman- 
ship "within your own house"— we have to consider the 
necessity for master salesmanship in dealing with people 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 1 89 

outside your business— whether they be customers or 
potential customers. 

People are intelligent, as a rule, and will not long submit 
to having anything put over on them. The smart executive 
firmly believes in the fact that the general public, Ameri- 
cans at any rate, are fair in their actions once they know 
all the facts. 

The public is a sort of passing parade. We succeed in 
our efforts to convince a portion of those who are directly 
in front of us today. But we have to be concerned with 
tomorrow, and the hope that some of those who have 
passed us by will come back, and others, out of range of 
our voices, will come within earshot of what we want to 
tell them. Today's profits are yesterday's good will, 
ripened. 

The first requirement in sound public relations— which 
I like to interpret as executive salesmanship— involves 
doing much more than saying. This is the essence of the 
degree of good relationship between a company and the 
public. There is a big demand today for men who can 
freshen the situation with smiles and encourage others 
with the spirit of sincere service in place of selfish end- 
gaining. 

In a small Philadelphia hotel one night a middle-aged 
man and his wife came in and inquired of the hotel 
manager where they might find accommodations. There 
was a convention in town and seemingly nothing available 
anywhere. To complicate matters, the man's wife was 
not well and appeared to be on the verge of physical col- 
lapse. 

Even in this hotel, every room was filled. As the couple 
were about to turn away and leave, the manager stopped 
them with a friendly smile. "You two look all in," he said, 



190 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

"and if you don't mind a small room— why, I'd be glad to 
let you have mine for the night." 

That manager never even knew their names when he 
made the offer, and didn't ask for or seemingly expect 
any rewards for his generous courtesy. He just acted like 
a decent human being. The following day, however, the 
husband approached him and said, "You're the kind of 
man every hotel should have as a manager. I would like to 
build one for you. If that would interest you, please get 
in touch with me." 

The guest who occupied the manager's room that night 
was William W. Astor. The manager was the late George 
C. Boldt. Known as one of the greatest hotel men of his 
time, it was Mr. Astor who built for him the Waldorf- 
Astoria Hotel. 

Good service wins a good reputation; a good reputation 
warms up good will; good will begets confidence; and 
confidence creates more business. Try as you will to circle 
around that set of facts, you will always wind up in the 
same place. 

Dr. Henry C. Link states, "The old psychology was a 
study of how the mind thinks; the new psychology is a 
study of how the mind acts?* Not what people think— 
you or your public— but what people do is the important 
factor in good executive salesmanship. The common 
opinion that human nature is basically the same in im- 
portant traits is a rather limited viewpoint and closes the 
mind to the infinite differences and changes which occur 
in people. When we consider creating good will, increasing 
sales, introducing new products, planning advertising and 
promotion campaigns, we must constantly keep in mind 
that whatever else human nature may be, people's buying 
habits are forever changing and require continual study 
and evaluation. 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 191 

This also tips us off for the need for continually telling 
the public what you are doing, what you hope to achieve, 
how it will affect or benefit them— in groups, or as indi- 
viduals. You may teach, preach, make music, discount 
notes, sue, judge, medicate, type, shave, trade in securities, 
print, write, rent, smash baggage, fry fish, deliver, cut 
neat, or can juices— it is all service of some kind and it 
needs selling. 

At a convention in Chicago, A. C. Neilson of the famous 
research organization, presented the principle that all busi- 
nesses should now become developed fro?n the outside in, 
because for too long a period management has too fre- 
quently developed the various phases of its business from 
ts own ideas, its own particular views and prejudiced 
)pinions, and then moved it out to the public. But today, 
le suggested, the process must be one of understanding the 
)ublic, and on the basis of such understanding, building the 
haracter of one's business. The progressive executive who 
xercises the right kind of "executive salesmanship" thus 
)ecomes one of the most strategic liaison men in such a 
)rocess. He is a two-way street. Funneling information in 

and doing promotion outwardly. 

Advertising, promotion, exhibits, merchandising, and all 
he other tools are useless if you fail to perceive what 
>eople want, and fail to give it to them. They are equally 
iseless if you fail to approach people on their basic levels 
>f desire— a personal feeling of adequacy in money, jobs, 
msiness, advancement, etc.; a sex interest which covers the 
vhole problem of men and women, children, family and 
lome; an interest in their health; an interest in mass struggle 
-the conflict of life always present in the individual strug- 
ling against superior forces; and religion— the interest in 
is hope of a hereafter. You have to speak the language of 
he people. 



192 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

These sales tools are also useless unless the public can 
accept without reservation the fact that the company they 
deal with is human. Whoever they come into contact with 
from your business— is the business/ It is true that some 
people think of management personnel as machines— im- 
personal dictators. But do not be afraid of such prejudice. 
It is your job to acquire the master salesmanship which will 
help to overcome such beliefs about your business. It is up 
to you, and every executive in your company— regardless 
of your job— to sell the public, everyone with whom you 
come into contact, that the men who manage the affairs of 
the company are human— ordinary people out to do an 
extraordinary service for others. 

Public sentiment is everything— the ultimate. With public 
sentiment on its side, no business can fail, and without it- 
no business can succeed. Executives who do everything 
possible to mold public opinion dig a lot deeper into their 
responsibilities than the brass hats who pronounce decisions 
and issue bulletins. The progressive executive, by his atti- 
tudes and conduct makes decisions and bulletins possible 
to execute— without him, decisions and bulletins are useless. 

In a recent talk, Dr. Kenneth MacFarland, Superin- 
tendent of Schools, Topeka, Kansas, was telling about a 
meeting of businessmen which he attended. A tradesman 
asked one of the experts present, "Do you think it's pos- 
sible in this day and age to conduct business according to 
the golden rule?" 

The expert replied: "My friend, you can't do business 
very long according to any other rule— and I'm not off the 
beam! I'm talking business and I want to emphasize that 
there is no business in rascality nor in cheating people; 
there's no business is short weights, short measure nor in 
misrepresenting your merchandise; there's no business is 
lying or stealing; there's no business in discourtesy. If you 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST 



193 



want people to come to your place of business, and keep 
on coming back, you had better treat them just as you 
would want them to treat you. As I understand it," he 
continued, "that's the golden rule. If you can't feel mag- 
nanimous about it, then be selfish about it, because it means 
good business for you." 

In the majority of cases big business shies away from 
sensationalism in its public relations and wants dignified 
methods employed, not only in company-sponsored cam- 
paigns, but in its representatives and employees. You can 
aid in the winning of mass acceptance of your company, 
of your products or services, and of confidence in your 
reliability by master salesmanship in your personal methods. 
Let's see how business methods and individual contacting 
parallel each other: 



Dealing with Public 
(Policy) 
It is good policy to always 
please a customer, regard- 
less of inconvenience, 
whether it is a refund, a 
replacement, or a repair. 
Good will is too valuable 
an asset to risk losing just 
because the matter at hand 
requires a slight inconven- 
ience in the handling. 

When an inquiry, complaint, 
or compliment is received 
from a customer, or stran- 



ger, 



it should draw a 



prompt letter of thank you 
and convey the proper in- 
formation. 



Dealing with Individuals 
(Conduct) 
You might more readily give 
of yourself or your time, or 
inconvenience yourself in a 
more friendly and willing 
manner. It is better to risk 
time, or some material 
thing, than risk losing a 
friend, or future booster for 
your firm. Once gone you 
may never get him back. 

You should be quick to thank 
people for favors, recom- 
mendations, gifts, or enter- 
tainment, even if it takes 
time to write. Promptness is 
the essential ingredient. 



i 9 4 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



Dealing with Public 
(Policy) 
Whether a customer is nasty, 
mean, or unduly impatient, 
he or she should be ac- 
corded the same courteous 
attention given the better- 
mannered customer. No 
distinction is made for 
creed, class, or color. 



Dealing with Individuals 
(Conduct) 
You might try being patient 
with everyone. You might 
be more tolerant, less prone 
to impatience. You might— 
because your actions may 
be interpreted as being rep- 
resentative of what people 
can expect from the com- 
pany which employs you. 



A real effort should be made 
to keep a promise, whether 
it is a delivery, a service, a 
guarantee, or promise of a 
refund if not satisfied. Busi- 
ness must live up to its 
agreements. Quick explana- 
tions are a must when cir- 
cumstances prevent the ful- 
fillment of pledged obliga- 
tions. 



You can be careful in your 
personal commitments so 
that you do not overreach 
yourself and thereby en- 
danger the good will and 
respect of others through 
being unable to keep your 
word. No matter how triv- 
ial the item, when you ob- 
ligate yourself, don't let the 
other fellow down. 



Appearances are important to 
create the proper impres- 
sions. Attractive offices, 
showrooms, pleasing pack- 



aging, 



neat take - home 



wrappings that do not un- 
ravel, are all important in 
dealing with customers and 
keeping them friendly. 

A competitor should never be 
run down or belittled ex- 



Is your external packaging 
neat, clean, tidy, pleasing to 
the eye, and generally in 
keeping with your posi- 
tion? Even if you tend not 
to care, it is of real impor- 
tance to yourself that 
others be pleased and not 
offended. 

When you feel you cannot 
say anything good about 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 



195 



Dealing with Public 
(Policy) 
cept behind the closed 
doors of a conference room. 
Even then it is better not to 
overlook a competitor's 
good points. Study your 
competitor with the idea of 
avoiding his mistakes. There 
are times when you may 
even find it desirable to 
compliment or praise your 
competitors, but it is poison 
to knock him. 



Dealing with Individuals 

(Conduct) 
people— don't say anything. 
Don't even think it. Study 
other people when an eye 
toward learning from their 
better qualities and abilities. 
If you must consider a per- 
son's bad qualities, do so 
from the point of view of 
avoiding those things in 
your own behavior. 



Legitimate business will not 
make attempts to fool cus- 
tomers with fancy wrap- 
pings designed to cover in- 
ferior or otherwise cheap 
materials— not if they ex- 
pect to stay in business. 



Indications or claims of su- 
perior knowledge, superior 
abilities, or other things 
which you in reality do not 
have, should be avoided at 
all times. You must do this 
to retain a reputation for 
reliability. 



The welcome mat should al- 
ways be out for sugges- 
tions, ideas for improve- 
ments, and for constructive 
criticism. Not only should 
the welcome mat be out, 
but business should make 
a big show of appreciation 
for any and all comments 
—even including destruc- 
tive criticism not acted 
upon. 



When offered advice or well- 
meant criticisms, a quiet 
"Yes" or "Thank you" will 
go a long way— whether 
you follow such tips or not. 
Indicate that you are very- 
appreciative of the interest 
such persons display by 
their advice. 



196 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

There are many minor items which these major points 
may call to your mind. But I think you will have noticed 
how your mind went to the many flashy methods used by 
some fly-by-night firms to attract their customers, with 
rash claims scattered all over their ad space and those 
made by their personnel. By comparison you also must 
have recalled the many leading organizations in our 
country who have won your confidence and respect by 
more conservative, more reliable, more good will building 
public relations techniques. Also you can see how closely 
these things compare to the show-off, braggart, incon- 
siderate types of executives as against the reliable, self- 
confident, considerate types of executives whose strategy 
in conduct makes them master salesmen for their firms. 

These comparisons aren't new. They are time-tried and 
pretty sure-fire elements in healthy public relations- 
executive salesmanship. If they were not— the efficiency 
and competition usually encountered in business would 
have combined to discard these methods long ago in favor 
of policies which would bring about the desired results. 

Whether you are a tool-room supervisor, factory mana- 
ger, senior accountant, treasurer, chief engineer, designer, 
personnel supervisor, assistant vice-president -in charge of 
traffic control, or are employed in any other capacity 
which you may feel is not directly related to the sales de- 
partment, one of the responsibilities of your position is that 
you understand the fundamentals of selling and familiarize 
yourself with them. I am not going to presume on your 
intelligence to the point where I would include the basic 
elements of what constitutes good salesmanship in this 
book. There are many good books completely devoted to 
the subject and many excellent short courses which would 
give such training. The knowledge or training would be 
of little use, however, if you- are unable to express your- 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 1 97 

jself in a convincing manner. And this is something I should 
like to explore briefly. 

If I am asked to measure a man, I watch him while his 
mouth is open. The bigger and better you are the less am- 
bition you need to exercise by admitting it. Too many ex- 
ecutives try to "sell" themselves first, and then try to "sell" 
their company on their own contribution to the general 
purpose of the company, instead of the over-all purpose 
and aims of the company. 

Talking recently with Lee Brandy, Vice-President of 
Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, he confirmed my 
thoughts when he said, "Almost any executive in his out- 
side contacts would better the public relations for his 
company if he worked harder to more truly interpret and 
reflect the ideals and aims of his company. Too many men 
are consciously or unconsciously too interested in them- 
selves" 

I heard a merchandising executive address a group of 
consumers— women— and explain the details of his com- 
pany's new merchandising program. For thirty minutes he 
talked about packaging, how attractive it was, and about 
counter displays to make it easier for the shopper to spot 
his company's products when they entered the stores, and 
about new methods developed for shipping and delivering 
the products in a fresher state to the point of sale. I knew 
that many of these developments were also cost-cutting 
improvements— but not once did this executive reach the 
best level of understanding of all with his hearers— they 
could now buy his company's products for less money! 
His audience only half understood most of his technical 
terminology and his talk would have been better received 
at a meeting of the American Marketing Association or 
some sales executive's club. 

Leave your business, trade, or technical terminology in 



198 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



MAS 



the plant or office when you go out to meet Mr. and Mrs. 
Man-on-the-street. Not so long ago I was present at a 
party where an engineering executive of a television manu- 
facturing company held forth for a few minutes on a fine 
new development his company had incorporated in their 
new television receivers. Everyone was interested— in 
tensely so— for who doesn't want to own one of these new 
instruments for entertainment. After several minutes of 
what sounded like a class-room lecture to future engineers, 
an associate of his, better versed in the art of executive 
salesmanship, interrupted— and said, "What Harry means, 
is that you can have one of our new sets in a bright room 
during the day time and be able to see the picture just as 
clearly as at night when the lights are all out. In fact," he 
continued— having completely captured the interest and I] 
attention of everyone in the room— "you can now leave 
your room normally lighted in the evening, and still enjoy 
clear sharp pictures without the eye strain which often 
accompanied the older types of receivers." 

An engineer— and responsible for at least two sales of 
his company's product in the next two weeks, for that 
talk sold two sets to people present who were on the verge 
of buying other makes. His engineer associate had for- 
gotten to leave his technical vocabulary in the plant where 
it belonged. His conversation would have been forgotten 
within a few minutes. 

During a chat with a friend of mine, Raymond C. John- 
son, Assistant Vice-President of the New York Life Insur- 
ance Company, and an author of no mean abilities, we 
drifted into a discussion of vocabulary. We didn't agree 
with the director of a sales clinic, which we had both 
attended a short time previously, in his statement that, 
"... I could teach any man to sell insurance effectively 



fix 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 1 99 

without the necessity for an extensive insurance (trade) 
vocabulary." 

"In my opinion," Ray said, "he didn't think over any 
too carefully what he was implying. We spend weeks 
teaching men the insurance vocabulary, for it is necessary 
that they understand such terminology to pass their ex- 
amination for licenses. Once they have this terminology 
fixed in their minds, we encourage them with all the help 
we can give them to do an intelligent 'translation' job 
when out selling insurance to people who are not familiar 
with the technical terms of the insurance field. But they 
have to know our language first." 

It is important that every executive know the trade 
vocabulary of his business intimately, but it is also this 
intimacy which "breeds contempt." We understand that 
which we are saying— but does the other fellow know 
what you are talking about? 

Good executive salesmanship requires that you develop 
an ability at flexible translation of your trade vocabulary 
to the degree where you can intelligently address the 
single individual, or a group, without giving the impression 
of talking down to anyone. Oversimplification can be as 
bad as not enough. 

I cannot stress too strongly the thought— you are the 
company to everyone with whom you come in contact, 
your family, friends, the general public, your immediate 
subordinates and employees. Master salesmanship is a must 
for dealing with these people— and for dealing with your 
own superiors. This constitutes one of the most important 
new horizons for the progressive executive who would 
like to step out of the narrow confines of his own job. 

I would like to conclude this chapter with an account of 
a sales clerk who furnishes an example we cannot ignore. 



200 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

A customer came to his cigar counter and said, "I want 
a pack of Paul Maul cigarettes!" 

"Paul Mauls? Yes, sir," said the sales clerk. 

A moment or so later another customer stepped up and 
asked, "Got a pack of Pel Mels?" 

"Pel Mels? Yes, sir," the clerk responded. 

A third customer came along after a while and said, 
# 'Give me a pack of Pal Mais." 

"Pal Mais? Yes, sir," the sales clerk replied. 

A bystander came over and addressed the sales clerk. 
*'Say, I often wondered about something," he said, "just 
how are you supposed to pronounce the name of those 
cigarettes? " 

The sales clerk said, "Just like the customer does. Yes, 



sir." 



"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What is the difference between a brass hat and a 
progressive executive?" 

Armand J. Gariepy, Administrative Assistant United 
States Aviation Underwriters, Inc., states: "The brass hat 
makes only surface impressions. The progressive executive 
penetrates the unconscious and causes his employees and 
associates to feel a deep sense of loyalty. The brass hat 
operates by a set of inflexible rules, while the progressive 
executive uses the rules merely for general guidance. The 
progressive executive operates by analysis, research, com- 
parison, a desire to serve and serve well, and has an un- 
canny foresight on trends. He has an unusually fine man- 
ner in dealing with people. The brass hat is usually too 
busy, whereas the progressive executive seems to always 
have time for necessary things. The latter is also quick to 
rate, and recognize, good work. Finally, in my opinion, 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST"! 201 

the progressive executive is a healthy, well-informed man 
who is a leader of men and a student of human nature. 
Always a student— always abreast of the times. He usually 
thinks of his "obligations" rather than what is due him. 
He is a good salesman, for without the ability to convince, 
persuade and beget action of a voluntary nature, he realizes 
he would be that much less a success." 

Lee Brantly, Vice-President & Director of Advertising, 
The Crowell-Collier Publishing Company, reports: "To 
my way of thinking, the brass hat type of executive may 
be a man who is at least moderately successful and for 
that reason is very apt to 'ride' on his title and not to seek 
any new ideas or to exert the leadership on which his 
present success may have been built. The progressive 
executive on the other hand, is continually doing the things 
that make for more progress— never content with things as 
they are if better methods or means may be found." 



CHAPTER 13 

Master Salesmanship— A Must!— Part 2 



During a discussion on the problems of training junior 
executives, one of the men present told of a frequent ex- 
perience in his company— the individual's lack of ability 
to express himself clearly in writing. "We feel that there 
must be something that can be done, perhaps in revising 
our training programs, which would help us overcome this 
handicap in otherwise fine executive material," he ex- 
plained. "It is considered one of the more important 
problems we face because it involves issuing orders, corre- 
sponding within the organization, and communication 
with our customers and sources of supply. There have 
been serious complications because of poorly worded 
communications which could easily contain more than 
one meaning, according to the reader's interpretation." 

In your daily routines you write for two purposes. You 
write to convey your ideas, your orders, your requests, to 
inform or instruct. You write an instrument for the pur- 
pose of making others think. 

In his vocabulary structure, the average executive is as 
narrowly limited as he is narrowly confined to his con- 
centration on his job. His lexicon of language seems so 
limited that he must resort to fumbling with odd or big 
words— to the confusion of his reader. 

Plain, forceful, appropriate words are sufficient to put 
your meaning across. 

202 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST 1 . 203 

In a small machine-tool plant, located on the third floor 
of a loft building in an eastern city, some of the workers 
used to amuse themselves during lunch hour in an ele- 
mentary sort of way by dropping heated pennies to the 
side-walk below. Their amusement stemmed mainly from 
the reactions of John Citizens who tried to pick them up. 
The horseplay was finally traced back and the front office, 
through a supervisor, issued the following order: 

TO ALL EMPLOYEES-MACHINE SHOP. 
THE PRACTICE OF HEATING COINS AND 
DROPPING SAME FROM THE WINDOWS 
INTO THE STREET IS HEREBY FORBIDDEN. 
FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THIS ORDER 
WILL RESULT IN SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES 
TO THE GUILTY PARTIES. 

Signed: PERSONNEL SUPERVISOR 

The problem continued. More complaints came into the 
office. They reached the attention of one of the bosses. He 
wasn't a fancy office executive. He had come up the hard 
way and was a part owner of the business. He immediately 
investigated. When he saw the above order tacked to the 
shop bulletin board, he tore it off. Asking for a piece of 
chalk, he went over to a dark gray space between two win- 
dows out of which the hot coins had been thrown, and in 
big letters wrote these words: 

NOTICE! 
ANY GUY CAUGHT THROWING HOT COINS 
OUT OF THESE WINDOWS GETS KICKED 
OUT OF HIS JOB ON THE SPOT. IF WE 
DON'T KNOW WHO DID IT SOMEBODY 



204 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

GETS FIRED ANYWAY TO TEACH THE REST 
OF YOU A LESSON. 

Signed: THE BOSS. 

You guessed it. It stopped right then and there. 

Simple, forceful wording of your message— right to the 
point. But in many of our communications we feel obliged 
to use the good forms of courtesy, face-saving devices, 
politeness in our requests, depending on the people who 
will read what it is we have to say in writing. But even 
here we tend to use stuffy, or even "heavy" style, when 
plain easy to write (and easier to read) words would serve 
our purpose much more effectively. 

For example, a letter from a sporting-goods firm which 
wouldn't interest me for one minute might read, in part, 
"It has come to our attention that because of your interest 
in the art of self-defense you ordered a set of boxing gloves 
from our company, but that this merchandise has not yet 
arrived. We shipped, etc., etc." 

How much better this would read if it were written in 
this manner: "The boxing gloves you ordered were 
shipped etc., etc. We are sorry this delay happened and 
want to assure you that we are tracing the order imme- 
diately." 

Instead of trying to compliment me out of my complaint 
that I had not received the gloves, the first letter sounds 
like something suspiciously near to a run-around. The 
second letter would much more likely make me feel as 
though I were important, and the company on the hustle 
to satisfy my inquiry. 

The youngsters of this generation have as much mental 
ability as those of other generations, yet many teachers 
will tell you that present sixth graders are unable to pass 
a third-grade reading test. Young people in business are 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 205 

suffering from inadequate training in reading; high-school 
authorities have had to soften courses in order to permit 
more of them to remain in school and graduate. Colleges 
admit that many students fail because of inability to read. 

Conversely, when questioned, several hundred personnel 
men agreed that the most common complaint in interview- 
ing job applicants is that they can't express themselves ade- 
quately. If not in words— how can they expect to do it in 
writing? 

"Be brief! Be brief!" an exasperated railroad superin- 
tendent counselled a maintenance-of-way employee who 
sent in reports that ran pages in length on trivial accidents. 
His next report was much better— "Dear Sir; Where the 
railroad was, the river is." 

Abraham Lincoln once criticized a volume of Greek 
history for its tediousness. A diplomat challenged him on 
the basis that the author was one of the profoundest 
scholars— delving more deeply into the past than anyone 
had previously attempted. "Yes," replied Lincoln. "Or 
come up drier." 

I have had a lot of correspondence with executives 
during the recent months in connection with this book 
(not those quoted) and there was but one in three who 
didn't ask me to "understand my rather limited abilities 
to express myself properly and I'll leave it up to you to put 
it in the right words." This is no indictment, and it is not 
meant to embarrass anyone. Few of us have had any in- 
struction or training on how to convey our ideas in 
writing. Yet, if we would be master salesmen— good execu- 
tive salesmen— we must cultivate this side of our abilities 
to keep pace with our other responsibilities. Too many of 
us, in our writing abilities, like Topsy, "just growed," and 
our errors invariably outweigh our capacity to put things 
on paper. Dictation instruments have been a big aid in 



206 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

sponsoring clear, comprehensive messages because most 
of us can express ourselves better orally than in writing. 
But even here we frequently fail because we tackle the 
job like a man who has been asked to make his first speech. 

I happened across a vacation folder not so long ago. Be- 
fore I spring my next point, you might read the following 
excerpt from the first page of the folder: 

"Alert with pristine life, Lake Superior is worthy of 
nationwide acceptance as the ultimate fulfillment of the 
vacation desires of every man, woman, and child. For 
healthfulness, fresh air, and varied kinds of entertainment, 
no place can boast more advantages than this great inland 
sea. 

"You can't beat the sailing, the swimming, the cool eve- 
nings, and all the healthful fun of a typical seashore vaca- 
tion at Lake Superior." 

There is a famous axiom circulating among the bigwigs 
of advertising agencies when they examine ad copy. "Al- 
ways cut the first paragraph as a matter of principle. The 
ad is always better for it." That wasn't employed in the 
case of the vacation folder. If it had been, the second 
paragraph certainly would have been a good starting point. 

Take a few memorandums and letters from your own 
files the next time you have the opportunity, and look 
them over. See how short you could have made them and~ 
still leave your message intact. It can be done. The results 
will amaze you. I have seen speeches cut from one hour to 
thirty minutes without the loss of a single important point, 
or with any damage to the over-all idea being presented. 

Assuming that you know good English, spelling, 
grammar, and punctuation, you might investigate each of 
the following items, using your own reports, letters, 
interoffice communications, and even items from other 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 207 

people which might be useful in spotting things you 
shouldn't do, and to judge them for the purpose of show- 
ing you where your abilities in writing are weakest: 

Construction: Is it confined to one subject? It is better 
to write two communications and avoid confusion 
than to send several ideas at once. Routing may be 
difficult at the receiving end. Filing may be difficult 
and result in errors or oversights. 
Is it concise? There is no rule, because ten words may 
do in one instance, but one hundred necessary in 
another— and still be concise. Try the cutting tech- 
nique suggested previously. 

Is it complete? Does it convey what you have to say 
—no more, no less? Imagine the reader being in your 
presence. If you spoke those words would he know 
what you meant? 

Is it courteous? Some orders may dispense with cour- 
tesy because of their official "demand" or "authorita- 
tive" nature. But make certain:— Is courtesy required? 
Has it been included? Don't overdo it— but make sure 
no one can argue that it has not been extended. 

Details: Should you be friendly? Where friendliness is 
indicated, does your message convey it— has it a 
friendly tone? If you are a personal friend of the 
person to whom you are writing, do not include 
personal remarks in a business letter. Clip a separate 
handwritten note to your letter. Other businessmen 
may have to handle that correspondence. 
Have you refrained from using obsolete words, 
cliches? Don't give away your behind-the-times atti- 
tudes in writing things which would carry that im- 
pression. Stay away from such stilted phrases as: 
"trusting to be favored"— "in response to yours of 



208 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

even date"— "beg to advise"— "contents carefully 
noted" etc. 

Have you been careful not to use too many superla- 
tives? Some international problems are really tremen- 
dous, debts gargantuan, and warfare horrifying, but 
we can generally get by with such words as big, little, 
great, awful, etc. 

Are your sentences short? Long, involved, sentence 
structure which conveys several ideas per sentence is 
difficult to read. Read it out loud— is it easy to under- 
stand? Keep your sentence structure short, punchy. 
Are your paragraphs short? Long rambling paragraphs 
are as discouraging to look at, as to read. Confine each 
subject, or each idea concerning your subject, to one 
paragraph apiece, if possible. If your subject requires 
more than half a dozen sentences, break it up into 
two paragraphs. 
Audience: Is the letter going to a business associate, 
outside contact, customer, stranger, or subordinate? 
You will recall my reference to your trade vocabulary 
in the preceding chapter. Make sure you "write the 
language" of the person who is to read your message. 
Does your communication invite reading? Is it clean in 
appearance, neatly typed or written, mechanically 
well prepared, free from smudgy erasures? Instead of 
your being the company in this instance, you take 
second place to your communication. It is representa- 
tive of what one may expect from your company. It 
is the company. Are you satisfied that it is doing a 
good executive selling job for you? 
Will people know who has written this message? 
Make certain that your identification is clearly under- 
standable. Standard form for having your written 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 20Q 

signature over your typed signature in business letters 
is not always practiced in inter-office or personal 
correspondence. Your name is important. Make it 
legible. 

In a speech on advertising made by Elon Pratt, a New 
York advertising man, he said that many advertisers never 
learn to talk less about themselves and more about those 
to whom they would like to sell their goods or services. 
"Too much advertising," he said, "is written around the 
T of the advertiser and not enough around the 'You' 
of the consumer." 

That is a statement every executive should memorize 
and apply to all his writings and communications with 
other people. Remember the men who dropped hot coins 
down on the sidewalk. The personnel director merely 
conveyed an officious warning which reflected his own 
concern. The boss conveyed a message written around 
"You" the worker— quit or be fired on the spot. 

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad announced not very 
long before this writing that it had sent its publicity de- 
partment back to school. The railroad management con- 
sidered it a good idea in future to have its fare sched- 
ules, instruction books, and general publicity written in 
"tight, terse, tense prose." The motto of the department 
now is— no sentence over twenty words. R. M. Van Sant, 
the director of public relations for the B & O, is reported 
to be an excellent pupil. In his announcement of the proj- 
ect, his sentences averaged only twelve words each. This 
is an idea worth copying by many an organization— not 
only for the improvement of their advertising or public 
relations departments— but for all levels of supervisory and 
executive personnel. Most publicity and advertising de- 
partments are staffed by men who have received some 



2IO BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

training in writing, but that cannot be said of men in 
other phases of business or industry. 

Whatever your message, whoever your reader, what- 
ever your idea, whoever you want to sell on the idea, every 
word conveys an impression of you, and an impression of 
your company. Proper expression in writing is another 
horizon the progressive executive must accept for intelli- 
gent attention, if he is to become the executive salesman 
the welfare of his business demands that he be. 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"What do you think of the theory that every pro- 
gressive executive should be a master salesman, re- 
gardless of his position or duties, if he is to properly, 
represent his company and carry out his responsibili- 
ties?" 

Jack Lacy, President, Lacy Sales Institute, states: "I agree: 
with you that every executive must be a master salesman.. 
The measure of co-operation that he will obtain fromi 
anyone he attempts to influence will be based on his^ 
ability to sell his ideas and himself at their real value. Ini 
his dealings with the company, he represents his workers. 
In his dealings with his workers, he represents the com- 
pany. And in his dealings with the public, he represents 
both. In any of these activities, if he has contact with one 
or more individuals he is continually attempting to influ- 
ence the thinking of those people. That is a job of selling. 
You can call it public relations, employee relations, busi- 
ness dealings, or anything else, but when you finally sift 
it down into its last analysis, it is a job of selling. 

"I would suggest that the average executive get into some 
kind of a course on salesmanship, public speaking, public 
relations, or anything which will help him to think con- 



MASTER SALESMANSHIP— A MUST! 211 

cretely about those things that help to influence the think- 
ing of people. After completing such courses I would 
advise him to read continuously such publications as are 
devoted to salesmanship, public relations and employee 
relations. Training of this sort is a never-ending process. 
If an executive is to remain abreast of the times, he must 
arbitrarily set aside a certain amount of time during which 
he will read and absorb the ideas of others who are faced 
with the same problems which confront him. Much is being 
done in the way of research on all of these subjects and 
there are a good many publications such as Sales Manage- 
ment, Printer's Ink, The N.Y. Sales Executive, etc., which 
are doing excellent jobs of disseminating information on 
these subjects. Any executive would be wise to join organ- 
izations devoted to the furtherance of the particular 
business in which he engages." 

John W. Darr, President, Institute of Public Relations, 
Inc., states: "Many modern, well-managed companies now 
recognize that any individual employee who has contact 
with their customers or with any segment of the public 
is the spokesman for management. Being a spokesman and 
learning how to be a spokesman are most important. Several 
modern companies have recently employed specialists to 
teach their employees from the top-level men to the least 
important worker how to speak properly when they meet 
any representative of the public. These are good signs and 
should be encouraged." 

"In your opinion, what are the differences which 
distinguish the brass hat type of executive from the 
progressive executive?" 

Dr. Abraham P. Sperling, Director, The Aptitude Test- 
ing Institute and Faculty Member, The City College of 



212 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

New York, states: "In my opinion the difference between 
a brass hat and a progressive executive is a matter of per- 
sonal 'security.' The progressive executive knows that he 
doesn't have all the answers and admits it by his open- 
minded approach to his employees and the issues of com- 
pany policy and procedures. The progressive executive 
feels more secure in his position, and in his knowledge 
that he is equal to the task of defending himself on a logical 
and sound business basis regarding his actions or decisions. 
His progressivism is merely the psychological reflection 
which comes from freedom in the personal sense. He is a 
'free man' in his business life and generally in his daily 
personal life. 

"Now let's take a glance at the brass hat. What makes 
him the narrow-minded ultra-conservative which he 
usually is? My opinion is that he experiences a personal 
sense of inferiority and insecurity. His arbitrary manner 
and arbitrary rulings, which are never open to question, 
are born of his insecure fear that they never will stand 
up under just and logical appraisal. Denying just appraisal 
and just criticisms, the brass hat attempts to perpetuate 
himself and his systems— with all their shortcomings and 
weaknesses— by force of his vested authority. While such 
men have succeeded in the past, and some remain in suc- 
cessful positions today, more and more are losing their 
places to the progressive executives to whom we must 
look for business survival in the future." 



CHAPTER 14 
Exit Brass Hat— Enter Progressive Executive 



Everyone has peculiar experiences which make them 
pause and contemplate on the inconsistency of mankind. I 
have had my share, but none have been as startling or as 
frightening, to me at least, as the iron-fisted policy atti- 
tudes I have uncovered while interviewing and contacting 
executives for material for this book. 

While all personal contacts were extremely pleasant, and 
many of these very fruitful and informative, brass hat 
conduct and attitudes are now far more familiar to me 
than the attitudes of progressive executives because the 
latter are outnumbered by a large percentage. The move- 
ment toward progressive executive attitudes is under way, 
and that is good. Perhaps more executives will join in 
this self-improvement trend as they come into contact 
with progressive methods and see the results which may 
be attained through their use. 

Typical among the interviews I have in my files are 
those which follow. Typical of brass hat policy and of 
individual brass hat attitudes. They need no explanations. 
For obvious reasons I shall not identify anyone. 

CASE 1 

Miles: "In your opinion, how should the average executive 
broaden his views and knowledge to avoid becoming 
too narrowly specialized in his own field?" 

213 



214 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

Executive: "Why don't you ask the president of my firm? 
I'm not allowed to make any statement or express my 
thoughts for publication. You can understand that. Com- 
pany policy might be violated." 

I certainly cannot understand it. Hitler, Stalin, or any 
other dictator— past or present— may decree that people 
think and express only approved opinions. Can business 
or industry be progressive when top-level executives are 
forced to confine their thinking and opinions to the lines 
laid down by one man, for fear of personal recriminations? 
My files have dozens of cases where this is a fact. Every 
executive in question is a general manager or a vice-presi- 
dent. I can sympathize with them, understand their ret- 
icence. They may not be brass hats— but their boss 
certainly is. 

In matters of public utterances on the industry, the 
business, methods, products, or policies, it is understandable 
that such intelligence be considered and approved before 
release to avoid misunderstandings and the possibility of 
irresponsible statements. Should such generally accepted 
procedure be administered in severity to the degree that 
executive personnel develops a reticence or fear to even 
express personal thoughts or opinions? That sort of mental 
leash limits the use of individual intelligence and retards 
progressive thinking. 

CASE 2 

Miles: "I'd like some comments from you on the value of 
trade papers to the average executive as a means for 
keeping up-to-date in his field." 

Executive: "I never read them. I've been in this business 
thirty years and do the same things over and over every 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 215 

day. Trade papers couldn't tell me anything I don't 
know." 

CASE 3 

Miles: "What are your worst time-wasters and how do 
you manage to overcome them to make more efficient 
use of your time? 

Executive: "No comment. To admit I had any would tip 
the boss off that I waste time; if he read your book. No 
one gets past my secretary I don't want to see. Now, if 
that's all, Fd like to finish this letter to my wife before 
I go to lunch." 

CASE 4 

Miles: "What is the difference between a brass hat and a 
progressive executive?" 

Executive: "That's a silly question. There is no difference. 
To me the boss has always been a brass hat. Now I'm 
boss and I give the orders around here— and I don't want 
any arguments when I give them. Does that answer your 
question?" 

Miles: "Yes." 

CASE 5 

Miles: "In your opinion do too many bosses delegate re- 
sponsibility without giving the proper amount of 
authority to carry it out?" 

Executive: "I give orders and I want them carried out. If 
there is any authority to be used I'll use it. My people 
can always come to me for permission if they need it. 
How the heck do you think I can control my business 
any other way?" 



2l6 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

CASE 6 

Miles: "In your opinion what advantages for the average 
executive can be expected from membership in business 
clubs, trade organizations, service clubs, and the like?" 

Executive: "Just a waste of time. Rather go to a good 
show." 

CASE 7 

Miles: "Assuming the average supervisory employee has 
had little or no training in proper human relations, how 
would you suggest this be remedied to obtain better 
middle-management vs. labor relations?" 

Executive: "How should I know? I'm no expert on such 
things. When a man is promoted he should study up 
on things he doesn't know about. That's the way I 
had to do it. If any of my men can't handle the job I 
get men who can." 

CASE 8 

Miles: "In your experience do you find human values, such 
as personal dignity and good working conditions, of 
more importance in dealing with your subordinates and 
employees than money?" 

Executive: "Money is all they are interested in. So many of 
our junior executives have been job hopping with the 
idea of making more money, then later coming back 
here for higher pay jobs, that the company decided to 
discourage the practice. We feel that they take infor- 
mation to competitors and in returning to better jobs 
here they made steadier employees dissatisfied with their 
own advancement." 

Miles: "Discouraged the practice? How can you do that?" 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 217 

Executive: "Not officially or on the records, of course, 
but word was passed down the line that any employee 
leaving the company in future will not be rehired under 
any circumstances!" 

Miles: "But if the company hired men back at higher pay 
they must have gained outside experience of value. Com- 
pany experience plus outside experience add up to a plus 
value in my book." 

Executive: "We can buy experts from outside whenever 
we need them. Shifting personnel, particularly in spe- 
cialized departments and middle-management, is more 
bother and trouble than it's worth. We want people to 
stay on their jobs." 

Miles: "Can anyone or any organization stifle ambition?" 

Executive: "We can sure try." 

In a speech before the National Retail Dry Goods 
Association, Benjamin H. Namm, President of Namm 
Store, Brooklyn, stated: "Economic misconceptions in the 
public mind are largely the result of propaganda, statistical 
distortions and government name-calling, and these form 
the greatest obstacle to vigorous business progress." He 
went on to say, "We are engaged in a sort of civil war- 
government against business, management against labor 
eaders, and vice versa" 

Some of these problems would settle themselves if we 
tad a lot more of the progressive elements and thinkers, 
;uch as those whose opinions have been published in this 
volume, as a base for promoting better management- 
worker accord, better company-customer accord, less 
dictation and more co-operation. 

Under these circumstances brass hats are about as helpful 
is fleas on a dog. They may keep the dog busy but it's 
a hundred to one he doesn't like it or put up with it 



2l8 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIV1, j| 

willingly. As Charles Luckman, President of Leve: 
Brothers Company, said at a Sales Executive's Out 
luncheon talk, "What we did yesterday is a poor guid< 
for what we must do tomorrow." 

Addressing a group of business executives, Colone 
Willard Chevalier, Executive Vice-President, McGraw- 
Hill Publishing Company, stated, "Normal business con- 
ditions as we knew them years ago no longer exist. There 
are no business norms today. Each progressive executive! 
must be his own analyst because business has shifted from! 
statistical analysis to operating analysis." 

No executive may then be competent in analyzing and 
synthesizing his responsibilities unless he stops coasting on 
his past achievements; stops relying entirely on his own 
past experiences; broadens his knowledge of his business 1 
or industry; broadens his knowledge of allied fields which! 
may affect his own position and his own field; does these 
things with a better basic understanding and willing prac- 
tice of the best methods of executive leadership. 

No real executive can fail to be sensitive to the freedom 
of expression— providing such expression is properly quali- 
fied with dignity and respect, and given in an objectives 
manner. Nor can any real executive be so preoccupied or 
arrogant that he fails to get the point of view of the other 
fellow. It would seem to me that any executive should b& 
so sure of himself, so willing to search out new ways and 
methods that he would invite complete freedom of expres- 
sion from those within his organization. 

The worst failings any executive can display in the con- 
duct of his office are: 

a. Lack of confidence in his subordinates or workers. 

b. Lack of ability to select and train a responsible and 
reliable staff. 



^XIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 219 

c. Pettiness or meanness in his dealings with subordi- 
nates. 

d. Failure to organize and develop methods and pro- 
cedures, and to see that all are familiar with them and 
adhere to them. Such methods and procedures should 
be the result of suggestions, discussions, and meetings 
with those who are affected by them and should re- 
flect the general acceptance by all. 

e. Failure to clearly establish authority and acquaint 
all those affected by "who is responsible for what"— 
and to require that the lines of extended authority 
be adhered to, and made use of. 

/. Failure to keep himself informed on what competition 
is doing, and the condition of any other allied fields 
which may directly or indirectly affect his own. 

g. Failure to recognize his own shortcomings, or to 
engage in self -analysis on occasion to reflect on possi- 
ble needs for improvement. 

h. Failure to explain most aspects of the business to the 
employees, and to the general public. 

The progressive executive's personal characteristics are 
complex. Taken one at a time they are not too difficult to 
acquire. Many executives already have developed one or 
more of these characteristics. It would not take too much 
effort to complete the job. 

1. Job ability. Is respected for his knowledge and assur- 
ance in his own work. 

2. Technical knowledge of the business as a "whole, in 
which he engages. 

3. Technical knowledge of the markets which keep his 
firm in business. He is sensitive to variations, needs, 
changes. 



2 20 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

4. Good social development for company— public rela- 
tions. 

5. Good executive salesmanship abilities. Can sell his 
ideas up or down from his own position. Considers 
his responsibilities from the viewpoint of how it 
affects ultimate point-of-sale transactions and satis- 
factions. Realizes that conduct, attitude, workman- 
ship, packaging, communications, are as important 
in the final sale of his company's product or services 
as are sales and advertising efforts. 

6. Good planner and fact finder. No wishful thinking. 

7. Ethical— sensibly realistic. 

8. Intelligent. And makes use of his intelligence. 

As an additional aid for the average executive, the Ameri- 
can Management Association offered their co-operation 
and gave me the unusual privilege of publishing a number 
of their tests for executive self -appraisal. These tests were: 
selected on two points: a. They are self -evaluating, b. They 
are sufficiently authoritative to make the results accurate 
and informative. 

There are psychological tests available for testing execu- 
tives, but as usual they are so designed that only a psy- 
chologist could score and interpret them. For our purpose 
it would be a bit inconvenient to attach a psychologist, 
neatly wrapped in cellophane, with each test. 

The tests to be presented here are excellent in content 
and design. They should provide whatever stimulus I 
may have overlooked to the further development of new 
horizons for executives along specific lines. 



Cfl 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 221 



SELF-ANALYSIS QUIZ FOR SUPERVISORS 
AND EXECUTIVES 

By REXFORD HERSEY * 

Every supervisor and executive should be aware of his 
managerial weaknesses and strive to strengthen himself in 
these areas. However, few of those in established super- 
visory positions like to have their abilities tested or their 
defects pointed out to them. Here is a test which meets 
this problem by enabling the supervisor or higher-level 
executive to test and score himself on his knowledge of 
some of the basic functions of his job. 

This test is designed to help you review some of the per- 
sonnel and management functions a supervisor and executive 
must perform. The questions are intended to reveal possible 
weak spots which you should be aware of and try to over- 
come. 

Ability to answer each question perfectly is no guarantee 
that you are an excellent supervisor. Knowing is not doing. 
Besides, the problems that follow are only a few of those 
that a supervisor encounters. However, one obviously cannot 
do the right thing unless he knows, intuitively or as a result 
of training, what it is and how to do it. 

If you miss more than three of the questions in Part I, it 
will indicate that your knowledge of good supervisory prac- 
tices is on the weak side and needs careful scrutiny. In the 
case of Part II (which is intended for those on higher super- 
visory or executive levels— or who aspire to such positions), 
more than four errors is indicative of weakness in knowledge 

Author's Note: In formulating this test, the author has supplemented 

original questioning with others, drawn from various sources, which he 

has found highly valuable in his training work; the discussions are 

wholly original. 

* Associate Professor of Industry, Wharton School of Finance and 

Commerce, University of Pennsylvania; personnel consultant to the 

Pennsylvania Railroad; Associate, Rich and Whitman Associates, 

Baltimore. 



2 22 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

of managerial principles and in analytical ability.** However, 
the main point involved is not the answers but rather the rea- 
soning back of the answers, which is discussed in each case. 
Thus these questions will have served their purpose if they are 
used to encourage self-scrutiny and free discussion of mutual 
problems among supervisors. Such individual and collective 
analysis is one key to business success. 

The 87 questions are followed by their correct answers 
and the reasoning involved. 

Part I 

A. The following True or False statements should be 
prefixed by a T or an F: 

- 1. The employer is held responsible for a foreman's or 

supervisor's statements or actions whether or not the 
company officials know about them in advance or 
approve of them afterwards. 

2. Overhead costs do not include direct labor and ma- 
terials. 

3. When reprimanding a worker, it is best to try to 

humiliate him in order to make the reprimand stick. 

4. An inefficient employee may be disciplined or dis- 
charged, regardless of whether or not he holds mem- 
bership in a union. 

5. A command is the best way to issue instructions. 

6. A supervisor should always endeavor to have some 

spare work in reserve in case of a breakdown in the 
regular work schedule. 

7. Squelching false rumors promptly may help to avoid 

labor disturbances or a strike. 

.. 8. A supervisor does not need to examine reports on 

which his name appears if they are made out by a 
subordinate who knows how. 

** In scoring these tests, allowance must be made, of course, for lan- 
guage difficulties in the case of supervisors with poor educational 
background. 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 223 

9. Initiative is an important trait in a man selected as 

an understudy or assistant supervisor. 

10. Final responsibility of the supervisor for the work of 

his unit cannot be delegated to anyone else. 

11. The more details a supervisor handles by himself, 

the better executive he is likely to be. 

12. As long as he gets the work done, a supervisor does 

not have to set a good example to his men by his 
personal conduct. 

13. If a supervisor knows all about the work to be done, 

he is therefore qualified to teach a worker how to 
do it. 

14. The only purpose of time and motion study is to cut 

expense. 

15. Poor housekeeping is not a common cause of acci- 
dents. 

16. A written order tends to ^x responsibility and pre- 
vent buck-passing. 

17. Planning a supervisor's time cannot be done in ad- 
vance, as too many unexpected jobs are always being 
given him. 

18. Use of clean competition between squads or units is 

a good way to get more work done. 

— 19. The supervisor doing the best job is the one who is 
always in the shop, loudly pointing out mistakes and 
spurring the workers on to greater production. 

— 20. Lack of interest in their work accounts for more 
loafing on the part of workers than does mere lazi- 
ness. 

— 11. Employees who are injured while at work should 
receive immediate first aid or medical attention. 

— 22. A worker's ability to do a given piece of work is al- 
ways a sure sign that he is satisfied and properly 
placed. 



224 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIV 

23. Since a watchman does no heavy work, physia 

characteristics do not need to be considered in hi 
selection. 

24. A supervisor cannot be expected to train his work 

ers. He is too busy running his job. 
25. Detailed orders should usually be given to worker 

who have little knowledge of and experience in th 

work involved. 
26. A supervisor should accept and carry out any orde 

he receives from an important representative of an 

other department. 
27. A supervisor cannot maintain the respect of hi 

men if he apologizes or admits a mistake; it is bes 

to say nothing. 

28. If a supervisor needs to make an example of a workei 

guilty of an extremely serious offense, a public repri-i 
mand is desirable. 

29. The best thing a supervisor can do if he has a trou-i 

blemaker in his department is immediately to recom- 
mend a dismissal for the worker. 

30. A request generally elicits more cooperation than a 

command. 

31. The only way to reward or recognize good work 

is to recommend a wage increase for the worker. 

32. If a man is not a born leader, he must remain in the 

ranks; there is nothing he can do to acquire the traits 
of leadership. 

33. The extent of a worker's schooling or education need 

not be considered in placing him on an ordinary 
labor job. 

34. When demonstrating how a job should be done, the 

instructor should always break it down into small 
units of instruction. 

35. When a lengthy, detailed order has been given, it) 



t(exit brass hat— enter progressive executive 225 

usually can be taken for granted that the worker 

understands what he is to do. 
36. A supervisor in a good-sized department should never 

delegate any of his authority to a subordinate. 
37. The only way to overcome laziness on the part of 

a worker is to discipline him severely. 

B. On the following, select the most appropriate state- 
ment by letter: 

38. You propose to promote a worker to a higher posi- 
tion. He says, "I'm perfectly contented here." You should: 

a. Bawl him out for having no ambition 

b. Insist that he try the job 

c. Penalize him by not promoting him in the future 

though he requests promotion 
d. Put the advantages to him nicely, but hold no grudge 

if he still refuses 
e. Be happy you have at least one contented man in 

your group 

39. When a worker who is at the top of his rate range 
comes to you and asks for a raise, you should: 

a. Tell him he's getting more than he really deserves 

b. Say that you will take it up with your boss 

c. Agree with him that he deserves more but you can't 

do anything about it since he's at the top of his rate 
d. Explain honestly he is at the top rate of his classifi- 
cation; the only way he can get more is by improv- 
ing his skill so he can be upgraded 

40. The best yardstick for definitely measuring a super- 
visor's accomplishment is: 

a. The number of accidents his department has 

b. The quantity of good work completed in a specified 

time 



2 26 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVI 

c. The opinion of his boss 

d. What other supervisors think of his work 



41. Good practice in giving orders is: 

_a. Shouting loudly 

_b. Taking understanding for granted 

_c. Giving a man complete orders for a day or more 

_d. Using language the worker can understand 



42. Idle time on the job is most likely to be caused by: 
_a. Poor working conditions 
__b. Too much employee turnover 
_c. The absence of a first-aid worker 
_d. Loose or lax supervision 



43. A written order is most helpful when: 
_a. A supervisor needs to display his authority 
_b. A worker is wasting materials 

_c. Many complicated or different operations are in- 
volved 
_d. The worker is shy or timid 



44. A worker is most likely to be contented if he has: 

_a. Regular employment 

_b. An expensive automobile 

_c. A nice home of his own 

_d. As little work to do as possible 



45. Workers placed with others who are not friendly or 

congenial are usually: 
_a. Careless 
_b. Dissatisfied 
_c. Lazy 
_d. Incompetent 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 227 

46. A worker being taught a new job most frequently 
has difficulty because he: 

a. Wants to pick it up in his own way 

b. Is nervous or lacks confidence 

c. Does not want to learn 

d. Feels he will have to do more work if he is trained 



47. One of the supervisor's duties which he can usually 

delegate to a subordinate is: 
_a. Taking an interest in his men 
_b. Eliminating false rumors 
_c. Issuing materials and supplies 
_d. Settling arguments among the men 



48. The most important reason for placing workers 

properly is: 
__a. To prevent them from making complaints 
_b. To provide training in new skills 
_c. To satisfy organized labor 
_d. To get work done effectively 



49. Among various traits required of a leader of men, 
the most important of the following is: 

a. Sobriety 

b. Ambition 

c. A sense of purpose or direction 

d. An impressive appearance 

Questions $0-51-52 relate to the following statement: 
When a worker asks his supervisor for permission to transfer, 
the supervisor should: 

50: 

a. Feel hurt and answer him heatedly 

b. Tell him he can't be spared 



2 28 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

c. Find out courteously, and without hurt pride, why 

he desires transfer 

a. Grant him permission to transfer if it is to the em- 
ployee's immediate or future advantage 

b. Try to convince him he is crazy to want a transfer; 

c. Refuse the transfer but send him to a superior su-j 

pervisor 

a. Tell him he can be transferred if he has someone 

trained for the job 
b. Intimate that he lacks a sense of justice for leaving 

after so much effort has been expended in training 

him 
c. If no one is competent to take over his job, get him 

to remain long enough to train a successor, then send 

him to the other department with your best wishes 
Questions 53-54-55 relate to the following statement: 
When you are reprimanding a worker, you should [Check as 
many statements as apply}: 

53 : 
a. Get all the facts 

b. Be a little sarcastic 

c. Use a little profanity, if it's a man 

d. Threaten the worker 

e. Scold the worker in public 

f. Be sure it's deserved 

g. Do it in private 

h. Reprimand him promptly 







54 : 

_i. Be specific in your charges 

_j. Be apologetic 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 229 

1 k. Give him no chance to reply 

1. Do not consider his feelings 

m.Talk straight 

n. Size up individual and vary interview accordingly 

o. Delegate the job to someone else 



55- 

_p. Rub it in occasionally 

_q. Show worker how to avoid future mistakes 

_r. Send worker away smiling 

_s. Tell your wife about it later 



t. Tell him before he goes, that you regret he needed 

the reprimand but are sure he'll be all right from 
now on. 
Questions 56-57-58 relate to women workers. Select by 
ietter from the following those that are more generally true 
hvith regard to women workers as contrasted with men: 

56: 

a. They tend to stick to a repetitive job better [does 

not refer to turnover or absenteeism] 

b. They get upset more readily 

c. They do what they are told; follow instructions 

d. They do not take things so personally 



ST- 

_e. They get more satisfaction out of merely doing good 

work than having their work praised 
_f. They are not so jealous 
_g. They are slow to develop versatility 

_h. A supervisor does not have to be so careful when 
reprimanding them 

__i. Minor things cause most of the trouble 



23O BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE: , 

58: 

j. They are more ready to admit their mistakes 

k. With members of his or her own sex, a supervisor 

should seek to be friendly; with members of a differ- 
ent sex, a supervisor should be friendly but imper- 
sonal 

1. They are more loyal when convinced you are fair 

m. It is easier to change their frame of mind 

. n. You must give women the same courteous, consid- 

erate treatment that you should give men. 

Part II 

A. On the following, select the most appropriate state- 
ment by letter: 

59. In your capacity as a foreman, you are called upon i 
to submit suggestions with regard to the reorgani- 
zation of your department so that the business of i 
the department can be carried on more smoothly. 
Of the following, the chief organizational principle: 
in accomplishing such a purpose is that 

a. The widest degree of latitude must be given each? 

sub-foreman and leader in his own group 

b. The store-room and tool-room must be centrally 

located in relation to the other activities of the de- 
partment 

c. Each group, while distinct, must be able to work in 

harmony with the others so as to attain common ob- 
jectives 

d. There should be an inverse relationship between the 

number of groups or sections and the number of 
departmental functions 

e. The character of activities rather than their purpose 

should determine administrative structure 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 23 1 

60. It has been maintained by some company officials 
that there is an increasing need for adequate evalu- 
ation of administrative management by means of 
measuring devices. Of the following, the least valid 
criterion that may be applied to determine the ade- 
quacy of a proposed measuring technique is that it 
must 

a. Break down the administrative function into com- 
ponent elements 

b. Take into consideration the practical conditions un- 
der which the administrative officer operates 

c. Eliminate the element of personal opinion in appli- 
cation 

d. Not only be a valid device in fact but must be well- 
packaged and convincing in appearance 

e. Yield a diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses in par- 
ticular areas of administrative ability 

61. An adequate definition of efficiency includes the 
concept that efficiency 

a. Is achieved by producing the highest number of 

units of work at the lowest cost / 
b. Varies inversely with the social benefits derived 

from the functions performed 
c. Must be considered not only in terms of cost and 

quality but in terms of workers' well-being and 

happiness 

d. Is in general a totalitarian ideal and not a democratic 

actuality 

e. Varies inversely with the cost entailed in perform- 
ing the functions involved 

62. Two of the supervisors under your jurisdiction are 
in constant conflict over the authority of one of 
them to consult certain records in the office of the 
other. Of the following, the most helpful action 



232 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

which may be taken immediately to eliminate this 
friction is to 

, a. Call both foremen into conference to explain the 

necessity for cooperation 

b. Ask each foreman separately to be more cooperative 

with the other 

c. Transfer the disputed records to a third foreman 

and center authority in the hands of this third per- 
son 

d. Reprimand both foremen 

e. Define the authority of each foreman 

63. "Red tape is caused, not by an excessive amount of! 
paperwork but by an utter lack of pointing a rec- 
ord system to a central purpose." The condition de- 
scribed in the quotation would not be remedied by 
satisfactory 

a. Coordination 

b. Executive control 

c. Scientific management 

d. Functional organization 

e. Administrative audit 



tfl 



64. After a union contract has been signed, labor trouble 

most frequently arises because 
_a. The newspapers foment it 
_b. Union leaders are afraid to bring their people into^ 

line 
_c. Arguments arise over interpretation of the contract 
_d. Foremen are too harsh and pigheaded in handling 

their workers 
_e. Some people enjoy a fight 

6$. Your department is assigned an important task. Of 
the following, the function that you, as an adminis- 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 233 

trative officer, can least reasonably be expected to 
perform under these circumstances is 

a. Division of the large job into individual tasks 

b. Establishment of "production lines" within the de- 
partment 

c. A substantial share of all the work 

d. Checkup to see that the work has been well done 

e. Preparation of a report to your superior on the gen- 
eral outcome of the work 

66. Suppose that you have broken a complex job into 
its smaller components before making assignments 
to the employees under your jurisdiction. Of the 
following, the least advisable procedure to follow 
from that point is to 

a. Give each employee a picture of the importance of 

his work in the success of the total job 

b. Establish a definite line of work flow and respon- 
sibility 

c. Post a written memorandum of the best method for 

performing each job 

d. Teach a number of alternative methods for doing 

each job 

e. Determine the possibility of combining closely re- 
lated jobs 

67. "Functional centralization is the bringing together 
of employees doing the same kind of work and per- 
forming similar tasks." Of the following, the one 
which is not an important advantage flowing from 
the introduction of functional centralization in a 
large department is that 

a. Intra-department communication and traffic is re- 
duced 



234 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

b. Standardized work procedures are introduced more 

easily 

. c. Evaluation of employee performance is facilitated 

d. Inequalities in working conditions are reduced 

. e. Adjustment of work flow to employee vacation or 

absence is facilitated 

68. Effective committee conferences among bureau heads 
of coordinate rank are least likely to have as their 
primary purpose the 

a. Coordination of specific functions 

b. Formulation of broad policies 

c. Execution of detailed plans 

d. Standardization of operating procedures 

e. Elimination of duplicated activities 



69. Of the following, the purpose for which you would 
least frequently prefer the privacy of a personal con- 
ference with an employee under your supervision 
is to 
_a. Discuss his satisfaction with working conditions 
_b. Reprimand him for an error he has made 
_c. Determine the reasons for his frequent absences 
_d. Give him directions for a new assignment 
_e. Praise him for the excellence of his work 



70. A brief questionnaire from a unit of the company in 
another city has been referred to you for urgent 
answer. Some of the questions are not quite clear. 
You should 

_a. Answer with an explanation of the basis for your 
reply 

_b. Use your own judgment and answer as best you can 

_c. Write a letter asking for additional information 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 235 

d. Return the inquiry with the statement that you can- 
not understand the questions 
e. Refer the problem to a subordinate employee 

71. Suppose that you are a supervisor with considerable 
correspondence to dictate daily. Of the following, 
the practice which should be most helpful in facili- 
tating this dictation is to 

a. Call the stenographer a few minutes before you are 

ready, so that she will be available when you wish 
to begin 

b. Dictate terse replies to all letters 

c. Count the number of letters in advance, so that you 

can indicate the amount of work for the stenog- 
rapher 

d. Prepare in advance brief notes as a guide in dictating 

e. Dictate in several sessions, calling the stenographer 

whenever there is a letup in your other work 

72. In the department in which you are a supervisor, it 
is necessary to establish some systematic policy for 
the removal and destruction of old correspondence. 
Of the following, the best method for you to recom- 
mend for this purpose is to 

a. File all material; when the available room is filled, 

destroy the oldest material to make room for the new 

b. File all material, but mark material of temporary 

value in some fashion; at regular intervals, destroy 
temporary material 

c. File all material; when the available room is filled, 

go through the files and remove all useless material 

d. File all material; when the available room is filled, 

destroy a sufficiently large representative sampling 
to allow reasonable room for future correspondence 

e. File only such correspondence as will be of per- 
manent value 



236 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

73. In the past, problems of administration have fre- 
quently been regarded as matters that anyone could 
solve. Evidence that in recent years administration 
is being recognized as a professional area exists in 
the fact that 

a. Governmental functions have increased enormously 

in the last 75 years 

b. The development of large-scale enterprise has re- 
moved the possibility of personal relations 

c. Many regulatory administrative agencies with quasi- 
legislative and judicial powers have been created 

d. Technical organizations and journals which discuss 

administrative problems are developing quantitatively 
and qualitatively 

e. The center of gravity of the American administra- 
tive system has passed into the national government! 

74. Of the following, the one which is not a proper func- 
tion of an accounting system is to 

a. Document the necessity for the expenditure of cer- 
tain funds 

b. Reveal the corporate financial condition 

c. Facilitate necessary adjustments in rate of expendi- 
ture 

d. Aid in the making of an audit 

e. Serve as the basis for future fiscal programs 

75. Suppose you are assigned the task of collating and 
modifying preliminary budgetary requests made by 
foremen in your department. Of the following, the 
reason which is the least acceptable for changing the 
amount requested by any single foreman is that 

a. The requested sum,- when considered in relation to 

the purpose intended, is not sufficiently high 

b. The work has been partially taken over by another 

department 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 237 

c. The requested amount, when considered in relation 

to the purpose intended, is not sufficiently low 
d. Expenditures to comply with the foreman's request 

are either unwise or unnecessary 
e. The money expended during the previous year was 

substantially lower than that requested during that 

period 

76. Of the following, the least significant factor in de- 
termining whether last year's budget requests should 
be modified in preparing next year's budget for your 
department is the 

a. Expected change in personnel 

b. Expected change in workload 

c. Possibility of introducing improved methods 

d. Increase of last year's budget allowance over the 

preceding year 
e. Magnitude of the funds that will be available 

77. You have been requested by your superior to de- 
velop a plan for improving the on-the-job training 
of the division. Of the following, the least valid con- 
sideration in initial presentation of your plan to your 
superior is 

a. Arrangement of the material in the plan 

b. The proper occasion for presentation of the plan 

c. Skill in bringing the matter to a decision 

d. Recognition of hierarchical authority 

e. Ability to present 

78. In making periodic reports to your superior, you 
should keep in mind that the chief importance of 
the report lies in the fact that it 

a. Constitutes a document to which there will be fre- 
quent reference 



_b. Is a means of checking on your efficiency 



238 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

c. Is the basis of information handed on to the highest 

executive officers of the company 
d. Allows your superior more effectively to exercise 

his functions of direction, supervision, and control 
e. Clarifies issues and problems for you 

79. It is commonly accepted as a desirable practice in 
personnel administration to prepare and distribute 
employee handbooks. One assumption on which this 
practice is not based is that it will 

a. Improve employee morale 

b. Increase employee feeling of security by clarifying 

the company's policies 
c. Enable the administrative staff to solve more quickly 

problems relating to the assignment of personnel 
d. Ultimately result in sufficient savings to make up the 

cost of publication 
e. Assist in training probationary employees 

80. As a leader, you may find that a probationary em- 
ployee under your supervision is consistently be- 
low a reasonable standard of performance for the 
job he is assigned to. Of the following, the most 
appropriate action for you to take first is to 

a. Give him an easier job to do 

b. Advise him to transfer to another department 

c. Recommend to your superior that he be discharged 

at the end of his probationary period 

d. Investigate the desirability of reducing the standard 

e. Determine whether the cause for his below-standard 

performance can be readily remedied 

81. An employee under your supervision suggests a 
fundamental change in departmental organization. Of 
the following, the principle which should guide your 
attitude toward his proposal is that 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 239 

a. Organizational structure should be differentiated 

from administrative practice 
b. Constant re-valuation of organizational setup and 

practice is essential 

c. To be effective, organization must remain static 

d. To achieve progress, frequent and regular change is 

required 
e. Encouragement of criticism by employees will lead 

ultimately to a weakening of employee morale 

82. Least vaild as a guiding principle for you in build- 
ing team spirit in your department is the idea that 
you should attempt to 

a. Convince the personnel that the work of the depart- 
ment is a worthwhile endeavor 

b. Lead every employee to visualize the integration of 

his own individual function with the program of the 
whole unit 

c. Express clearly all policies and procedures of a for- 
mal character to avoid misinterpretation 

d. Maintain impartiality by convenient delegation of 

authority in controversial matters 

B. Below are listed five questions, each of which is cou- 
pled with a fact. Below these questions are listed five 
choices, under one of which each fact accompany- 
ing the questions is best classified. From these classi- 
fications, select by letter the correct answer to each 
question, basing each selection solely on the fact pre- 
sented with the question. 

83. Question: Should the regular monthly report of your 

department's activities during October be submitted 
on November 8 instead of November 1? 
Fact: The regular monthly report for October is due 
on November 1. Nothing very important has oc- 
curred during October. Your group is currently en- 



24O BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

gaged in a project, due to be completed by Novem- 
ber 8, in which you are certain your superior will be 
greatly interested. 

84. Question: Should you continue holding regular con- 
ferences with supervisors under your jurisdiction? 
Fact: Only one conference of the five held thus far 
has produced significant procedural improvements. 

85. Question: Are mailing costs excessive? 

Fact: Mailing costs for a six-month period in 1940 
are 22 per cent higher than for the comparable pe- 
riod in 1939. 

86. Question: Should Mr. Black be suspended prelimi- 
nary to investigation? 

Fact: You received an anonymous letter stating that 
Mr. Black, an employee under your jurisdiction, has 
performed an act somewhat deleterious to the wel- 
fare of your department. 

87. Question: Should there be a re-examination of the 

procedures utilized in responding to queries from 
other departments? 

Fact: On the average, your office takes six days to 
mail replies to queries from ©ther departments. 

Correct answers are to be selected from among the fol- 
lowing: 

a. Tends to indicate that the answer is negative, though 
additional data are necessary for conclusive proof. 

b. Proves conclusively that the answer is negative. 

c. Tends to prove that the answer is positive, though 
additional data are necessary for conclusive proof. 

d. Proves conclusively that the answer is positive. 

e. Offers no evidence to indicate that the answer is 
either positive or negative. 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 24 1 

ANSWERS AND DISCUSSION 

T 1. This question is especially designed to stress the 
fact that a supervisor cannot make statements, particularly 
about labor relations and union preferences, without running 
the risk of getting his company into hot water. A supervisor 
must make no statements about company policies and prefer- 
ences unless he knows whereof he speaks, and is sure that it 
is politic to make such statements. 

T 2. Overhead costs are those costs which, for the most 
part, are termed non-productive. 

F 3. Though the falsity of this statement is obvious, in 
actual practice, unfortunately, reprimands are sometimes han- 
dled in this manner. 

T 4. If it can be proved by adequate records that an 
employee is really inefficient, he may be disciplined or dis- 
charged regardless of his union affiliation. 

F 5. Both the British and American Armies of today are 
relinquishing the psychology of arbitrary commands from 
above and are using to the fullest possible extent the demo- 
cratic psychology of teamwork. In the industrial world, an 
emergency may make commands necessary, but ordinarily it 
is a poor supervisor who resorts to commands. 

T 6. This is not always possible, but certainly a super- 
visor should plan to keep his people busy on some kind of pro- 
ductive work in case of a breakdown in the regular work 
schedule. 

T 7. False rumors often breed considerable disturbance. 
It is the supervisor's duty either to squelch these at once and 
supplant them with the facts if he knows them, or to report 
the rumors up the line and request the facts so that he may 
pass them on to his people. 

F 8. A foreman who signs his name to any report with- 
out at least glancing at some of its main points, to see that they 
are correct, is unwise. No matter how busy you are, check 



242 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

the accuracy of any report to which you append your signa- 
ture. 

T 9. An understudy should be an alert individual, ca- 
pable of searching out and suggesting new and improved meth- 
ods of doing the work or handling the human relations part of 
the job. He should be a person who does things that need to 
be done or helps to correct mistakes without waiting to be 
told to do so. Note that he should suggest new methods, but 
not put them into effect without authorization. 

T 10. The supervisor in charge of a unit or department, 
no matter what happens, is responsible for the work of those 
under him. He cannot pass this responsibility on to someone 
else. 

F 11. It is a bad defect in many supervisors and execu- 
tives that they will not relinquish details. Such a practice 
makes the subordinate feel he is nothing more than a robot, 
with no responsibilities and real duties of his own. The suc- 
cessful executive is the one who can make his subordinates 
feel they are working with him rather than for him. 

F 12. The untruth of this statement is obvious. 

F 13. The fact that a man is familiar with the work 
does not mean he will also be a good instructor. To be a com- 
petent instructor, a person, in addition to other capabilities, 
must genuinely like people and enjoy imparting knowledge 
to them and helping them to progress. He must also be well- 
trained in the proper techniques of instruction. 

F 14. Besides cutting costs, motion and time study makes 
the work easier for the worker by minimizing unnecessary 
and fatiguing movements. It places tools, equipment, and ma- 
terials in a convenient position to reach. It standardizes proc- 
esses and methods, materials, tools, and equipment. It deter- 
mines the time required by the average worker to do the task. 
It provides the worker a definite goal at which to aim. Con- 
fusion and lost motion are eliminated. 

F 15. "Have a place for everything and keep everything 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 243 

in its place" is a household adage that can well be applied to 
plant procedures. Littered aisles, material badly stacked, etc., 
are not conducive to safety. 

T 16. The truth of this statement is certainly unques- 
tionable. However, the question arises as to how generally 
this principle should be applied. If every instruction given 
your subordinates were to be written, there would be little 
time for anything else. In general, then, it might be said that 
the following instances call for written instructions or written 
information: 

a. When changes in company policies or practices are 
involved 

b. When finances are involved 

c. When decisions involving the well-being of an em- 
ployee are made 

d. When instructions are complex, and the employee has 

not performed the operations previously 

e. When important figures are involved. 

F 17. This is a very common and harmful fallacy en- 
countered in almost all companies from the president down. 
No supervisor or executive can do his work properly unless he 
thinks ahead and prepares carefully all his moves in advance. 
Hopping in on a job and starting action without thinking the 
job through is not a proper course of action. Each supervisor 
should prepare a daily, weekly, and monthly schedule of ac- 
tivities. These should provide time and opportunity for changes 
on the basis of past experience. 

T 18. When competition is not carried to extremes, it 
provides a sound and stimulating method of achieving high 
production. If, however, it should be carried to extremes and 
unfair methods tried, workers become disgusted and produc- 
tion is thus hindered rather than helped. 

F 19. In many companies, the notion exists that a super- 
visor, to be efficient, must talk loudly and generally seem to 
be very busy. Such a notion is obviously wrong. The best 



244 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

supervisor is the one who has the duties and responsibilities 
of the various jobs under his supervision clearly outlined. He 
teaches each person exactly what his responsibilities are, and 
trains him to carry these out efficiently and quietly. 

T 20. Few workers who loaf on the job do so because 
they really want to. Most people prefer to do a good day's 
work of which they can be proud. A good supervisor will try 
to determine the causes of a worker's disinterest and take steps 
to remove those causes. 

T 21. There is no doubt that an injured employee should 
receive immediate first aid or medical attention. The longer the 
wait until his injury is treated, the more serious the results may 
be. This is the reason why all departments should be inspected 
from time to time on the arrangements made to take care of 
various sorts of accidents which might occur. This usually 
means that there should be, in each group, several selected 
workers who are acquainted with the first-aid measures which 
should be taken in the care of various types of injuries and are 
trained to take the proper action. 

F 22. One cannot deny that a worker who is unable to 
keep his production up to standard usually tends to become 
discontented. However, the opposite is not so true. Many em- 
ployees are able to do their work quite well but still are un- 
happy because of poor relations with their superiors or other 
factors in their working environment. Or, again, they may 
be able to do more efficiently another job which they like 
even better than the one they are on. 

F 23. Though a watchman has no heavy work to do, he 
still must make his rounds and must at least possess sufficient 
physical agility to cope with certain dangerous situations. 

F 24. This question was included to call attention to a 
basic error which many supervisors make. They are so busy 
doing the foot- and hand-work of their jobs that they are, so I 
they think, too busy even to supervise the training of new 
workers. Training is a basic responsibility of each supervisor j 
and executive. Even though he may not personally conduct j 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 245 

the training, in every case it is his responsibility to see that a 
definite training routine is carried out. 

T 25. This question was designed to stress the need for 
careful and specific instructions for new workers or workers 
transferred to new jobs. When a worker knows a job, he can 
be given more general instructions. However, the employee 
who is green at the job must be told carefully the exact steps 
to take and taught how to do it "one step at a time." 

F 26. Naturally, a supervisor feels an impulse to carry 
out any order he gets from a high-ranking officer in another 
department. However, to heed such orders constitutes a defi- 
nite breach of well-accepted managerial principles. Actually, 
the high official who gives such orders to a lower-ranking 
supervisor in another department is guilty of a grave breach of 
managerial etiquette. This applies to any order given in the 
usual line of business, not in case of an emergency, such as 
fire or riot. In such cases, the highest-ranking company officer 
present, unless the management has designated a specially 
trained officer to assume command, should take over, and all 
subordinate supervisors should obey his orders. 

F 27. There is nothing that will sell a supervisor more 
quickly to his men than his openly admitting a mistake or 
apologizing for an injustice done. Just as it is wise to correct 
a man in private, so it is wise to apologize to him in public. 
The supervisor who is big enough and thoughtful enough to 
observe that principle will have little trouble with his people. 

F 28. The discussion of the preceding question has pro- 
vided the answer to this one. A worker who is intentionally 
guilty of an extremely serious offense should, in all probabil- 
ity, be discharged. A public reprimand is never desirable. 

F 29. When a foreman finds a troublemaker in his de- 
partment, is it not advisable for him first to try to find out why 
the man is a troublemaker? Many times so-called troublemak- 
ers are merely trying to attract attention and thus flatter their 
pride. Careful analysis of the worker may disclose the cause, 
and frequent conversation with him may lead him to change 



246 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



[11 



his attitude. Perhaps if one supervisor cannot change him, a 
transfer to another group may assist. Certainly, before the 
man is recommended for discharge, every effort should be 
made to show him the error of his ways and, through advice, 
warning, and reprimand, to encourage him to improve. Only 
after all those steps have been taken and indicated in the 
man's record should he be recommended for dismissal. 

T 30. Does anybody disagree that this is true? 

F 31. An increase in pay is an agreeable way to reward 
an employee for good work, but it certainly is not the sole 
way. A literal or figurative pat on the back in front of his 
fellow workers, advancement to a more responsible position, 
recognition of his ability by his fellow workers are all ways 
whereby good performance can be recognized. 

F 32. It would be a sad world if we could do nothing to 
improve ourselves. Many of the traits of leadership are tech- 
niques which can be acquired by anyone who is willing to 
make the effort and has at least average ability. Some men 
and women, it is true, seem to have been born with a natural 
talent for leading others, but even they can improve their 
ability by daily study and analysis. 

F 33. Would it not be a waste of time and money to 
hire a college graduate for an ordinary laborer's job, unless 
he looked upon it as a way to future advancement? How 
much education a laborer has should be considered if we ex- 
pect him to stay on the job. If we consider the question to 
mean "Can a worker have too little education for an ordinary 
laborer's job?", then perhaps the answer would be "No." 

T 34. A job should be taught in learning units involving 
easily acquired sequences of movements. On the other hand, 
the significance of the separate units will be better appreci- 
ated if the learner is first given a bird's-eye view of the new 
job. Thus, if you were considering only the initial demonstra- 
tion of the job and answered that this statement was "false," 
you would not be far off the track. However, only small units 



11 

1 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 247 

of instruction can be given the learner at one time. (Note also 
answers to Questions 24 and 25.) 

F 35. Most of us have a short memory-span. Were you 
ever given "detailed" instructions on how to get to a certain 
place, and did you remember them perfectly? 

F 36. To insure a cooperative and smooth-running de- 
partment, and to prevent himself from being burdened with 
details, a supervisor in a good-sized department must learn to 
delegate much of his authority to competent subordinates. 

F 37. So-called laziness may be caused by many differ- 
ent factors: poor health, lack of proper training, worries on 
the outside, lack of interest in job, clash of personalities, etc. 
For these reasons, it is essential that the supervisor study each 
of his subordinates as an individual and attempt to learn as 
much as possible about his total situation in order to deter- 
mine what remedy to apply. 

D 38. Some men are not cut out for leadership, and it is 
better to leave them in a position where they are happy and 
doing good work than to force them into a position which 
will weigh heavily upon them. 

D 39. This is another point where a supervisor gains 
nothing by beating around the bush. It is better to tell the 
man honestly where he stands and what he must do to earn 
more money. It should also be pointed out that his being up- 
graded will depend upon what vacancies exist in a higher 
bracket. 

B 40. Can there be any doubt that quality production 
and low cost are the two factors that enable a firm to com- 
pete? The other three items mentioned are indicative and 
should be considered, but the principal one is the quantity of 
good work completed on schedule. 

D 41. Certainly the orders given will do no good unless 
the worker understands them. 

D 42. Lax supervision causes the worker to lose his re- 



248 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

spect for the company, his interest in his work, and his will- 
ingness to work hard. 

C 43. No comments seem necessary. 

A 44. Security is one of the most important factors 
making for contentment in human life. Studies of workers' 
reactions have shown that they value it more in the long run 
than high wages. 

B 45. The importance of having various teams or groups 
composed of congenial people is evident. Lack of congenial 
cooperation impedes the development of real efficiency. 

B 46. Observation of new workers and talking with 
them should convince the most skeptical supervisor of the im- 
portance of helping to dispel nervousness and fear on the part 
of the new recruit. 

C 47. Taking an interest in his men (and the other two 
duties— b and d— are really only aspects of this one) is the 
most important duty of any supervisor. A supervisor can be 
productive only through the co-operation of those under him. 
Unless he takes an interest in them, he cannot expect them to 
take an interest in him and in the company's success. 

D 48. No comment seems necessary. 

C 49. If a leader does not have a sense of purpose or di- 
rection in his life, he cannot be a true leader. From that de- 
velops such factors as "ambition" and "sobriety." During the 
war, a noted analyst of management problems said: 

The men who are standing at their stations when the emergency 
draws to a close will be men with one attribute in common— an 
indomitable staunchness of spirit that literally feeds on difficulty and 
that draws its nourishment from the profound conviction that there 
is a job to be finished. 

Workmen today and tomorrow want bosses who are proficient 
in action. They also want men who know how to stand against dis- 
couragement, danger, and difficulty, who have strength of spirit 
when others are downcast, who are cheerful when others are for- 
lorn, who are determined when others waver. 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 249 

C 50. Too often the first answer to a man who desires 
a transfer is "No." This is a basically wrong attitude to adopt. 
No man is so indispensable that he cannot be transferred. The 
least a supervisor can do is to examine his case sincerely and 
honestly. 

A 51. If a man has the necessary capability and can im- 
prove himself through transfer, it is unwise for the super- 
visor to force him to remain in his department. Employees' 
morale is improved by the knowledge that their superiors are 
unselfishly interested in their advancement. 

C 52. Few workers will hesitate to co-operate with their 
employer by loyally staying on the job long enough to train a 
successor when they feel they are not being given "the old 
run-around." 

5 3. A-F-G-H; 54. I-M-N; 55 . Q-R-T. 

Little discussion seems necessary regarding most of these 
questions. A supervisor may, however, question somewhat the 
advisability of sending a worker away smiling after a repri- 
mand. However, it should be remembered that a reprimand 
or correction does more harm than good when the worker 
goes away with anger or fear in his heart and without being 
shown how he can improve and hope for a better relation- 
ship in the future. 

5 6. A-B-C; 57. G-I; 58. J-K-L-M-N. 

The answers to these questions have been compiled from 
the answers of a number of supervisors in various plants who 
have had long experience with female workers. It is conceiv- 
able that the experience of some of those taking this quiz 
will lead them to disagree on some of these points. 

C 59. Without doubt, one of the principal objectives of 
all organizations is to effect harmonious activity of all mem- 
bers toward a common goal. However, answer "a" is impor- 
tant once this principle is recognized. Unless the widest degree 
of latitude possible is given to each subordinate supervisor, he 



250 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

will not be able to exercise his initiative and ability to the 
fullest extent. 

D 60. The appearance of a measuring device certainly 
should not be looked upon as a criterion in determining 
whether it should be used or not. Its efficacy as a tool of 
measurement is the important thing. 

C 61. While the concept in the first statement (a) is a 
recognized cornerstone of efficiency, modern management 
thinking tends to recognize equally the importance of worker 
well-being and happiness in the achievement of actual effi- 
ciency. 

E 62. The first thing that the top supervisor in this case 
must do is to define clearly, in his own mind at least, the au- 
thority of each foreman. After he has done that, he should 
call both foremen into conference to make sure they under- 
stand the scope of their authority and the need for proper 
cooperation. 

D 63. In this case, functional organization without any 
effort to secure proper coordination and executive control; 
would tend to bring about a greater lack of coordination in 
the record system rather than to direct it to a central purpose. 

C 64. The fourth statement (d) presents a situation that 
is all too frequently at the root of labor trouble; however, it is 
a situation that causes trouble both before and after the signing 
of a union contract. Where people live and work together, 
disputes must always arise, especially until a new contract is 
thoroughly understood by all. 

C 65. No comment seems necessary. 

D 66. No comment seems necessary. 

D 67. In reality, it depends upon the individual situation 
whether "d" or "e" is given as the correct answer. For the 
most part, the fourth advantage (d) would seem to be the 
correct answer, however, since working conditions can be 
fairly easily standardized. 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 25 I 

C 68. No comment seems necessary. 

E 69. No comment seems necessary. 

A 70. In order to save time, those questions in the ques- 
tionnaire about which you were certain should be answered 
promptly. Your reply should state what you understood the 
other questions to mean and should answer them on that basis. 
The unit making the survey could then determine whether 
you had supplied the proper information or not. If not, a sup- 
plemental letter could be sent you stating the questions more 
clearly. If it took considerable time and effort to secure the an- 
swers, and you thought you might still be wrong, it would be 
permissible to answer those questions you were sure of and ask 
for additional enlightenment regarding those of which you 
were not sure. 

D 71. Too many executives waste their secretaries' time 
by failing to have complex replies well organized in advance. 
In sorting the mail, the secretary should separate those items 
which she feels she can answer without help from the boss. 
He should glance over these immediately to see if she is cor- 
rect. While she is answering them, he can go over his other 
mail and prepare the outline of the replies. Then, in case he 
is interrupted while dictating, he can readily take up the gist 
of his dictation when the interruption is over. 

B 72. Observance of the second recommendation will 
insure that the files will not become indefinitely cluttered up 
with material that has no permanent reference value. 

D 73. The growth of technical organizations and pro- 
fessional journals which deal with the subject and which have 
improved both quantitatively and qualitatively in recent years 
is without doubt direct evidence that the field of administra- 
tion is being developed more and more as a professional ac- 
tivity. 

A 74. An accounting system has nothing to do with the 
making of a brief to present reasons why certain funds 
should be spent. That is a function of the operating people, 
who must justify the inclusion of these expenditures in their 
budget or as an exceptional expense. 



esta 



252 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

E 75. The amount of money spent last year in and of 
itself has nothing to do with the amount of money which is 
to be expended during the forthcoming year. 

D 76. No comment seems necessary. 

D 77. In presenting a plan for improving training, cer- 
tainly the recognition of any sort of hierarchical authority need ; fflt j 
not be included in the plan. The other points mentioned, how- 
ever, are all important. 

D 78. No comment seems necessary. 

C 79. No employee handbook is intended to enable the 
administrative staff to assign personnel more efficiently. Usu- 
ally such a handbook is not designed explicitly to assist in 
training probationary employees. However, the employee 
manual may be of some use in training probationary employees 
to adjust themselves to the company, which type of training, 
however, has nothing to do with training for the job itself. 
"E" may be considered as the second-best answer. 

E 80. No comment seems necessary. 

B 81. No comment seems necessary. 

D 82. He is indeed a weak executive who delegates the 
solution of controversial matters to subordinates. Nothing can 
destroy team spirit more quickly than the following of this 
practice by an executive. 

B 83. There is absolutely no basis for even considering 
that a report dealing with the month of October should in- 
clude events which took place in the month of November. 

A 84. The fact that significant procedural improvements 
were achieved as the result of only one conference out of five 
does not indicate much per se. This development may actually 
have been the outcome of the five conferences, since all the 
others may have led up to a final highly productive conference. 
On the other hand, conference Number 1 may have been very 
productive and the others fruitless as regards procedural im- 
provements. However, many other good results may come out 
of a conference, such as clarification of company policies, anal- 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 253 

ysis of operating problems, introduction of new procedures. 
Certainly, much more evidence than is indicated is needed to 
justify the discontinuance of the conferences. 

E 85. No comment seems necessary. 

B 86. Action should not be taken against any employee 
until a sound basis for accusations made against him has been 
established through thorough investigation. Certainly an 
monymous letter should never be made the basis for sus- 
pension. 

C 87. No comment seems necessary. 

The "Self-Analysis Quiz for Supervisors and Executives" is repro- 
iuced from Personnel— Volume 23, Number 6 by special permission of 
:he American Management Association, 330 West 42nd Street, New 
Fork 18, N. Y. Quantity prices on this test may be obtained by writ- 
ng the association. 

The second requirement in test material for executives is 
something which will help him find out where he is weakest 
in his knowledge of his over-all management responsibili- 
ties. Again the American Management Association has 
2ome up with a fine self-evaluation inventory which covers 
the major phases of this subject. 



WHAT'S YOUR MANAGEMENT I. Q.? 

I A Test for Operating Executives, Supervisors and Foremen 

Compiled by ELLIS H. WOOLLEY 

Training Supervisor 

Naval Supply Depot 

Oakland, Calif. 

Presented here are 100 questions that should give any 
operating executive or supervisor an idea of where he needs 



254 



BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 



to strengthen his job knowledge. The first group of question: 
deals with principles of management within the area of super 
visor-manager responsibility. The second group covers the 
relationships of supervisor-teacher. The balance of the lis 
deals with the personal development of the supervisor-leade: 
and how he proves his ability. 

The questions have been selected and developed to assis 
the administrator, manager, and supervisor to make a persona 
evaluation of himself; thus the testee should administer anc 
score his own test. Naturally, the higher-positioned individu 
als should attain a higher score— certainly a top personnel ad 
ministrator in an organization of several thousand employee- 
should score close to ioo, at least 90, to feel on the "sure" side 
On the other hand, a score of 70 for a first-line superviso 
would indicate a "good" start. In either case, a score of 90 o 
70 means that one could well afford to undertake more train 
ing— advanced or elementary, as need be. 

When referring to elementary training, it should be under 
stood that method is not the requirement so much as principL 
—it is much more desirable in the long run to develop atti 
tudes than methods, and attitudes are the product of principL 
rather than method. 

The compiler would be inclined to require those showing 
a score of 90 or better to satisfy themselves that they are no 
likely to "slip" by assuming too much knowledge. To answe 
honestly whether they have read or studied a reasonable num 
ber of the following books (in school or out) would be somt 
indication of satisfactory or deficient background. Just to makt 
it a scoring proposition, can you match 8 or 9 of the author 
correctly to the titles of these books? This particular selectioi 
has been made for its historical value— human relations in the 
ory and fact— and these books are valuable guides in dealing 
with people. Accordingly, before you start on the 100 ques 
tions, try matching the titles with authors— and let the resul 
be a challenge rather than a cause for discouragement. 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE 


EXECUTIVE 255 




Titles: 


Authors: 


A. 
B. 


The Republic 
The Prince 


Veblen 
Rousseau 


C 

D. 


The Social Contract 
Wealth of Nations 


Whyte (and others) 
Marx 


E. 
F. 
G. 


The Federalist 

Capital 

Theory of the Leisure Class 


Carnegie 

Plato 

Machiavelli 


H. 


How to Win Friends and In- 


Hamilton (and others) 




fluence People 


Smith 


I. 


The Managerial Revolution 


Burnham 


J. 


Industry and Society 





THE 100 QUESTIONS 

{Answers follow the questions) 

Use of words in reading questions: 

1. Complete the following alliteration: 

An efficient and capable administrator, manager, or su- 
pervisor keeps clearly in mind that the parts of man- 
agement are materials, machines, methods, money, 
and . 

2. Supply the missing word: 

Some managers, administrators, and supervisors inter- 
pret as meaning "doing for" 

This interpretation is entirely inadequate, as it involves 
action on the part of but one person, while actually 
the word involves the coordinated action of two or 
more persons: it means "working with others." 
Match the following words by selecting those most appropri- 
ately reflecting the primary factors of each: 

3. Organization ( ) Policies 

4. Management ( ) Charts 

5. Supervisor ( ) Interpretation 



256 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTI 

Multiple-choice questions— select one by letter: 

6. The principles of scientific management as recognized ii 
American industry were developed 

(a) in ancient times 

(b) during the recent war 

(c) early in this century 

7. The scientific method of modern management is identica 

to the method of 

(a) the seven liberal arts (b) physics (c) religion 

8. Certain management "methods" in particular enterprise 
draw much criticism, when criticism should rather b 
leveled at __ 



(a) stubborn stockholders 

(b) over-capitalization 

(c) faulty organization pattern 

The purpose of organization is to determine relationship 
and contacts together with 



(a) working hours and pay scales 

(b) limits and scope of responsibilities 

(c) profits and losses 

10. Records and system are both essential to organization 
Records are usually considered more so because ther 



(a) require less "professional" development 

(b) take up file space 

(c) are more tangible 

11. Concise reports that serve some really worthwhile pur 
pose partially discharge responsibilities of 



(a) subordinates (b) customers (c) stockholders 
2. The line-and-stafT type of organization is an outgrowt 



of 

(a) the laws of Moses and Aaron 

(b) modern industrial development 

(c) a short cut to efficiency 



|XIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 257 

3. Organization charts cannot achieve the best results with- 
out the character of : 



(a) dualism (b) specialization (c) functionalism 

14. Within the limits set up in the position description chart, 

supervisors are part of 

(a) worker groups (b) management (c) plant equip- 
ment 

15. When instructions and orders follow the lines of author- 
ity, it is proper 

(a) staff advice (b) principle (c) channeling 

16. When you ask an employee instead of his supervisor 

about another employee's work, you 

(a) hurt his feelings (b) jumpchannels (c) create disor- 
der 

(17. The major function of a supervisor is to 

management policies. 

(a) formulate (b) interpret (c) ignore 

8. When a supervisor misrepresents management, he 

(a) jeopardizes his own position 

(b) stimulates management to get going 

(c) takes the part of the worker 

19. To perform a staff function in an organization is to 

- only. 

(a) give orders (b) advise (c) interpret 

20. Lines of supervision should be considered as lines of au- 
thority in which 



(a) advice is given 

(b) Industrial Relations act 

(c) all orders must flow 

21. Clarification of responsibilities and authority makes for 

strong 

(a) policy-making (b) advice accept- (c) supervision 

ance 



258 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

22. An important part of every supervisor's job is to repre- 
sent management accurately to the workers by 



(a) reading the home town papers 

(b) keeping them fully informed 

(c) distributing the work load equitably 
23. Basically, the supervisor has 

(a) multiple responsibilities 



(b) no "management" responsibilities 

(c) a single duty 
24. The terms manager, administrator, and supervisor havei 

been used interchangeably in this quiz. This has been 
done purposely to 



(a) confuse managers 

(b) emphasize breadth of responsibility 

(c) establish limits of supervision and management 

25. If, as a result of organization charts, system, records, and 
reasonable work load, you are able to delegate all your 
routine work to others, you 



(a) are entitled to promotion 

(b) are doing all that the job offers for your talent 

(c) conform to the best estimates of what a manager on 
supervisor should do 

The following True— False questions on "The Supervisor as a, 
Teacher" should be prefixed by a T or F: 

26. The first consideration of a supervisor is develop- 
ment of an effective working organization. 

27. A.n effective organization can always be built ; 

around a group of loyal employees. 

28. Instruction is a tool available to the supervisor for 

the purpose of increasing and improving produc- 
tion. 

29. The well- trained working force is a result of main- 
taining a large training department. 



£XIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 259 

Thp supervisor should see that all employees are 
sent to training classes. 

In planning for training, the supervisor should 

make a Trade Analysis preparatory to selecting 
those who are to be taught. 

The supervisor must be aware of the fundamen- 
tals of learning and teaching. 

It is an error to assume that others are equally in- 
terested in a subject that has management sanction 
or approval. 

Teaching is complete only when the learner has 

learned. 

Limitations of the lecture method of instruction 

include insufficient evidence of learner's under- 
standing. 

Lectures may be supplemented by questions, illus- 
trations, and charts. 

Small groups and individuals can best be instructed 

by the Direct Instruction Method. 

Study from text and recitation can be used to ex- 
tend the time devoted to the subject. 

The number of "learning impressions" should be 

controlled by the instructor. 

A unit of instruction is generally a usable division 

of subject matter. 

Correctly phrased questions have value because 

they require active participation of the learner. 

When the workforce is constant and stable, train- 
ing can be suspended. 

The modern supervisor considers current techni- 
cal information necessary to job accomplishment. 

Training can be used to establish a strong relation- 
ship between the supervisor and the worker. 



l6o BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

45. In training a worker, the first thing the supervisoj 

should do is show in detail how the job is per- 
formed. 

46. Another instruction rule is to emphasize how not 

to do the job. 

47. A. good rule to follow in giving instructions or or- 
ders is to provide just as much information at one 
time as you possess, and put it in writing if neces^ 
sary for emphasis. 

48. There is doubtful relationship between a versatile 

workforce and cyclical variations in production. 

49. Standardized procedures and schedules for instruc- 
tion are desirable in repetitive operations. 

50. The attitude of supervisors and managers toward 

training should be one of sincere interest and will- 
ingness to teach. 

The following True— False questions are based on Factors and} 
Development of Leadership: 

51. A. supervisor should make an analytical study of 

his responsibilities in order to develop planning,, 
coordination, avoid weaknesses in the organization, 
and make effective use of people's capacities. 

52. Washington, Napoleon, and Lincoln are often re- 
ferred to as born leaders; the man who is not a 
born leader is doomed to failure. 

53. A study of the actions of recognized leaders may 

greatly increase one's knowledge of leadership. 

54. Leadership qualities include knowledge of techni- 
cal and mechanical elements, and personal char- 
acteristics of people. 

55. A good supervisor on a sizable project seldom dele- 
gates any of his authority to a subordinate if he 
anticipates satisfactory completion of the project. 







EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE l6l 

$6. A. supervisor cannot maintain the respect of his 

men if he apologizes or admits a mistake. 

57. Leadership is won or earned and is developed; it is 

not acquired by delegation or endowment. 

58. In attempting to improve his leadership, the super- 
visor must look forward and must forget his past 
actions which have led to failure or success. 

59. The supervisor's authority is final— his is the last 

word. 

60. The supervisor can delegate duties and responsi- 
bility, but ultimate responsibility of the supervisor 
for the work cannot be passed on to anyone else. 

61. If training is used to build a skilled and reliable 

working force, less of the other phases of leader- 
ship will be required of the supervisor. 

62. It is all right to "alibi" to an employee if you have 

a good excuse. 

63. The motivating factor among most employees is 

to be paid at the end of the week and to be told 
what to do. 

64. Most people are inclined to "ride hobbies" and 

place undue emphasis upon certain factors to the 
detriment of others. 

6$. Many shortcomings are habits engaged in without 

conscious thought; having been acquired, they are 
often mistakenly held to be inherited and incapa- 
ble of change. 

66. Misunderstanding is frequently the cause of im- 
agined unfairness. 

67. A,n employee's private problems should have pref- 
erence over the work load in case of a request for 
leave. 

68. Bullheaded people are usually conceited. 



262 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE | $ n 

69. Most people are sensitive to any suggestion that 1 ; ^ 

they lack the qualities of leadership. 

70. Establishing procedures and practices that save 

time, effort, and money are more important than 
building morale in an organization. 

71. Delegation of authority is associated with respon- 
sibility for getting the job done. 

72. A good supervisor supplies a complete plan of the 

job operation when delegating responsibility. 

73. A supervisor can often help a dissatisfied worker 

if he finds out which of the worker's needs or de- 
sires are not being met. 

74. The more details a supervisor handles by himself, . 

the better executive he is likely to be. 

75. The major function of a supervisor is not to form- 
ulate policies but rather to interpret them and 
carry out procedures necessary to effect the poli- 
cies in his particular unit. 

Multiple choice questions— select one by letter: 
y6. Orders that are extremely detailed should be 



(a) clearly stated (b) in writing (c) illustrated 

77. A supervisor can go a long way toward improving his 
group working conditions when he takes time to con- 
sult relative to work situations. 

(a) an astrologer (b) the boss (c) capable employees 

78. When orders are given that impose entire responsibility 
on the shoulders of the supervisor they are known as 
orders. 

(a) implied (b) suggestive (c) command 

79. To get more cooperation, it is common to use 

orders. 

(a) implied (b) request (c) suggestive 



EEXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 263 

80. To a group of experienced workers, it is common to 
use orders. 

(a) implied (b) command (c) direct 

81. Though money is important, there are other factors 
which greatly affect the employee's job performance 
from day to day. They are generally headed by 



(a) wine, women, and song 

(b) family and home life 

(c) educational background 

82. The worker is most apt to be contented if he has 



(a) regular employment 

(b) an "easy" job 

(c) his home paid for 

83. The most satisfying reward to the average worker is_ 



(a) overtime work assignments 

(b) public credit for a job well done 

(c) a pay raise 

84. Uncongenial surroundings cause workers to be 



(a) incompetent (b) lazy (c) dissatisfied 

85. Proper placement and adequate use of talent is the respon- 
sibility of the 

(a) hiring office (b) the supervisor (c) the employee 

86. "Discipline" has several meanings and connotations. Be- 
cause of its derivation from disciple, the supervisor should 

put as the # 1 definition in his use 

of the word. 

(a) "penalty for breaking rules" 

(b) "train to obedience" 

(c) "educate oneself to the habit of conforming" 

87. Misunderstanding of regulations, laziness, and lack of in- 
terest are subjects for - 



264 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

(a) discharge 

(b) retraining 

(c) reassignment or transfer 

88. Some employees are fond of horseplay. Several remedies 
have been used to advantage in stopping the inclination, 
including 

(a) buy him a horse 

(b) send him home for a day or two 

(c) give him more responsibility 

89. There are several effective ways to reprimand a worker, 
if you must— particularly __. 

(a) by humiliating him 

(b) in a loud and spicy manner 

(c) strictly in private 

90. Squelching false rumors promptly may help to 



(a) avoid labor disturbances 

(b) keep management from complaining 

(c) better supervisor relations 

91. After a worker has been reprimanded or warned, the su- 
pervisor should make sure that he realizes the importance 
of his mistake by 

(a) reminding him of it from time to time 

(b) withdrawing privileges for a while 

(c) helping to avoid repetition of the offence 

92. Dissatisfaction is often due to a supervisor's failure to 

(a) inform workers of changes in policies and procedures 

(b) send birthday greetings 

(c) reprimand while the matter is "hot" 

93. It is often said "The real leader is not afraid of occasional 
mistakes." He 

(a) places the blame on his people 

(b) doesn't "pass the buck" 

(c) never repeats mistakes 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 265 

94. No supervisor is entitled to the confidence of his men un- 
til he demonstrates his ability to . 

(a) give orders 

(b) get pay increases 

(c) plan for them 

95. Strikes can most often be avoided by use of which of 
these methods . 

(a) invoke the provisions of the Wagner Act 

(b) early adjustment of grievances 

(c) use of arbitration 

96. A program activity designed to develop "beneficial sug- 
gestions" should . 

(a) pay large returns to inventors 

(b) reduce absenteeism 

(c) improve job satisfaction and vocational interest 

97. To effect improvement in methods and techniques in his 
department, the supervisor should 



(a) call in plant engineering 

(b) assign the job to his crew 

(c) apply work simplification methods 

98. The present-day supervisor should know the correct an- 
swer to compensation problems of people in his organi- 
zation because . 

(a) he can thus get them more money 

(b) employees are better informed today 

(c) they want to retire earlier 

99. Types of compensation fall into three groups, namely 



(a) light, medium, and heavy duty 

(b) real, monetary, and intangible 

(c) faith, hope, and charity 

00. A system of employee efficiency and merit rating will 
prove of value in showing supervisor and employees 



266 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

(a) safety factors 

(b) weaknesses and strong points 

(c) differences of opinion 



Answers to ioo-Question Test 



(i) Men 


or manpower (2) Coop 


eration 


(3) Charts (4) 


Policies 


(5) Interpretation 


(6) C 


(7) B 


(8) C 


(9) B 


(10) c 


(11) A 


(12) B 


(13) C (14) B 


(15) c 


(16) B 


(17) B 


(18) A 


(19) B 


(20) C 


(21) C (22) B 


(23) A 


(24) B 


(25) c 


(26) T 


(27) F 


(28) T 


(29) F (30) F 


(31) T 


(32) T 


(33) T 


(34) T 


(35) T 


(36) T 


(37) T (38) T 


(39) T 


(40) T 


(41) T 


(42) F 


(43) T 


(44) T 


(45) F (46) F 


(47) F 


(48) F 


(49) T 


(50) J 


(51) T 


(52) F 


(53) T (54) T 


(55) F 


(56) F 


(57) T 


(58) F 


(59) F 


(60) T 


(61) T (62) F 


(63) F 


(64) T 


(65) T 


(66) Ti 


(67) T 


(68) T 


(69) T (70) F 


(71) T 


(72) T 


(73) T 


(74) F 


(75) T 


(76) B 


(77) C (78) C 


(79) B 


(80) A 


(81) B 


(82) A. 


(83) B 


(84) C 


(85) B (86) C 


(87) B 


(88) C 


(89) C 


(90) A^ 


(90 c 


(92) A 


(93) B (94) C 


(95) B 


(96) c 


(97) c 


(98) B S 


(99) B 


(100) B 













Answers to "Book and Author" Matching Questions 

A. Plato F. Marx 

B. Macchiavelli G. Veblen 

C. Rousseau H. Carnegie 

D. Smith I. Burnham 

E. Hamilton and others J. Whyte and others 

The "WHAT'S YOUR MANAGEMENT I.Q.?" test is reproduced 
from Personnel— Volume 23, 'Number 6 by special permission of the 
American Management Association, 330 West 42nd Street, New York 
18, N. Y. Quantity prices on this test may be obtained by writing to 
the association. 



My attention has frequently been centered on people 
who are enthusiastic over a course of education, an in- 
structive book, a new hobby. They enthuse— at the be- 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 267 

ginning. As they get into their activity and find spots which 
are a bit weighty with detail, or a bit difficult to com- 
prehend, or which require more than usual effort, that 
original enthusiasm begins to look a bit shabby and weak. 

Many men who read this book will be in that sort of 
mental state by the time they get this far. My mother used 
to say, "When you have children you must expect those 
things." Those things were the illnesses, the troubles, the 
squabbles, the extra effort for mother and father, and all 
those little inconveniences which did not manifest them- 
selves in the initial enthusiasm of parenthood when child 
was babe in arms. I might say, "When you have an execu- 
tive job with executive responsibilities, you must expect 
to face and meet the necessity for a continuing process of 
those things— study, improvement, practice, inconvenience, 
results/' 

I have tried to write this book in the role of reporter. 
It has been difficult to refrain from telling you what to 
do when my objective has been to give you cause to think 
(with apologies to Thomas J. Watson of IBM.) My ob- 
jective may also be translated into doubling your own 
resources. No progressive executive today can be so nar- 
rowly specialized that he relies on one thing, or trusts his 
future security to one ability, however pre-eminent. He 
must double up in everything, treble his knowledge if 
possible, especially the causes of his success and those 
things which tend to keep him in a successful position. 

This guide for better executive attitudes is not perfect, 
nor is it complete. But things can only be enjoyed when 
complete. It will take intelligent thinking on the part of 
the individual, and the application of these principles, to 
make this work complete. I have done my part and it has 
taken many months. As my partner— will you finish the 
job? 



268 BRASS HAT OR EXECUTIVE 

"EXECUTIVE OPINION IS . . ." 

"In my opinion the average executive is too narrowly 
specialized in his own field regardless of his vertical 
advancement. I contend that he requires a greater 
degree of horizontal development to be efficiently 
productive. What are your opinions in this matter?" 

Lawrence A. Appley, President 

American Management Association, Inc. 

states: 

"The individual in management is management. His suc- 
cess in management is management's success; his compla- 
cency is management's complacency; his bad performance 
is management's bad performance. He has great oppor- 
tunity for accomplishment, and vast resources within his 
control. 

"The state of mind that management must continually 
combat and which great leaders of American industry have 
exhorted their associates to fear is a kind of semi-soporific 
condition which is conventionally called 'complacency.' 

"One chief executive has said: 'I like men who after they 
do well in the job they are in charge of, are willing to 
reach out— reach out to improve upon the methods they 
are following, or reach out for more responsibilities.' 

"One must realize there have been good, mediocre, and 
bad managers— meaning good, mediocre, and bad manage- 
ment. The good managers have made a great record, which 
is to the credit of American business. But in totaling up the 
score for the country as a whole, one can only guess at the 
amount of economic loss that can be accounted for by the 
missed opportunities of bad management and indifferent 
management. Nothing can be gained by deploring these 



EXIT BRASS HAT— ENTER PROGRESSIVE EXECUTIVE 269 

failures; but the challenge of the future to business is: Will 
it derive the most from the potential that exists by getting 
the fullest measure of return from creative ability, re- 
sourcefulness, and intelligence that reside within the indi- 
vidual who may be called 'a manager'? 

"Here is the richest possibility of development." 



7t 



B*"tX 80 84 19 





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